This I Believe

Lynn - Star Prairie, Wisconsin
Entered on December 13, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe it’s your right to have an opinion..

While it’s probably not correct, I do believe in your right to have an opinion.

An opinion likely means that you’ve given it some thought and that maybe you’ve done some research to back your continuing and enduring conception of people, places and events. You steadfastly stand by that assessment wholeheartedly and will defend it to your death. Good for you.

So where do we get our opinions? From books, newspapers and television, most likely. Or is it possible that your opinion reflects generations of deep-rooted beliefs and ideals handed down by your elders? What makes their opinions acceptable? Have you questioned the reasoning behind morals that have been handed down and ingrained so deeply within you? I have.

When I was born my father was 50 and my mother was nearly 45 years old. This meant I spent the better part of my youth immersed in already-formed opinions. It was my father’s opinion that blacks and whites should not have relationships together. His beliefs that blacks were a lesser people were handed down from generations of fathers and grandfathers who believed the very same thing. So was it then truly my father’s fault for possessing the opinions that he did? Even if they were, in my opinion, wrong?

Does your opinion ever waver? Mine do. I cannot possibly side with either position of the abortion issue, universal healthcare or immigration reform. But I think that makes me human, and sensitive to all sides of the issues. Does it mean I have no opinion on these issues? Not really. It’s my opinion that a woman has a right to choose, however we cannot deny the male his own right to know his unborn child.

What does it mean to say “I have no opinion”? To me it denotes a person who doesn’t have enough knowledge in the particular area to comment on the issue at hand. For this I commend the individual for speaking up and letting us know they’re uneducated about the subject. In this case, I’m happy that you have no opinion.

Entering the year 2007 we now have many choices of worldly topics with which to form our opinions around. Whether it’s political parties, topics of conversation, current events and simply the changing world with which we live in, the options for opinions seem too numerous to count. Sometimes too many to take a stand on everything.

Opinions can differ from culture to culture, men to women, parents to children and neighbor to neighbor. I respect the fact that you have a right to form your own opinion of the world around you, and the world we live in also (mostly) respects that right. Take advantage of it.

We tell the world through our bumper stickers, signs on our front lawns and elaborate t-shirts, so go ahead! I love to read them. Even if your opinions do differ from mine almost anyone can appreciate good, creative humor on a brightly colored 100% cotton human-billboard. And even though it hurts a little bit inside, I will laugh.

But you do realize though, it will not change my opinion.