There seems to be a big problem with opinions.
Whenever anyone has an opinion, he may be upset and alarmed to learn that there may be others who do not agree with him (or her). Everybody has one. They’re sort of like rear ends — big, small, obnoxious, ridiculous, intrusive, unsubstantiated, fallacious, ad infinitum. But everybody has one (or more) anyway.
How many times do friends sit around the coffee club table and trade opinions, usually with friendly antagonism? It’s when friendly antagonism becomes caustic and vicious and vituperous (look it up) that opinions can cause damage. Destruction of friendship is most unfortunate, more so when only because one person has a differing opinion than another. Politics and religion are usually the guilty subjects. And then, ridiculous as it seems, it gets down to calling one another names.
(Everybody usually agrees about sex.)
Opinions are truly very good. Wonderful, sagacious (look that one up, too), insightful and often productive ideas were often generated by someone first having an opinion. World leaders, religious sectarians, medical mavens, political pundits and the like are all subject to their own opinions.
More likely than not, their opinions will not change, regardless of the input from colleagues who are also wise and sagacious (have you looked it up yet?).
But opinions can also be a bad thing. How often do we hear of brickbats being thrown toward unsuspecting skulls simply because the opinions of some do not agree with the opinions of others in opposition? “He’s black and I hate him!” “He’s white and I hate him!” “He’s nothing but a greaser, a homo, a weirdo, a Republican, a Democrat, a Catholic, a Lutheran, a Scientologist”… and on and on.
When an opinion is used for hate, then it has truly become a bad thing. Nobody has ever been charged with an “opinion” crime. But a hate crime is something else. That’s when an opinion can become unlawful.
Think about what it requires for someone to hate something or someone. It takes a great deal of effort and persistence to hate with such fervor that a person is willing to commit felonious acts just for having an opinion.
It is not a crime to hate. Nor is it a crime to love … or at least show compassion or understanding or forgiveness. It takes many more facial muscles to frown than it takes to smile. Any doctor familiar with kinesiology (look that one up, too … last one) will concur.
As for me, I prefer to look to the positive rather than the negative in everyday life. There are plenty of things to send me reeling toward the dark side. But I hope when the doctors decide to pull that plug, I will be taking my last breath in a laugh. To laugh yourself to death wouldn’t be so bad, would it?
Anyway, that’s my opinion, and I’m sticking to it.