I’m sure most of you can finish that phrase, but just in case you can’t it goes like this.
‘Opinions are like assholes; everyone’s got them.’
I looked up the phrase online to try and see where it came from and was surprised to find that it seems to have started with Clint Eastwood in a Dirty Harry movie. Of course there have been many variations of the phrase since, but I kind of like it that Dirty Harry said it. I guess I’ve always been a sucker for the strong, silent type – good thing for R.J.
I like to add ‘and most of them stink’ to this phrase, especially now. What’s troublesome is that many of us are confusing opinion for fact now. It’s very difficult to read a news article or watch the news and know if it’s actual facts or just a reporter’s opinion disguised as facts.
And then there’s the troubling idea that having an informed opinion seems to have disappeared. We all have opinions. It’s the way we were wired and I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon.
Please don’t misunderstand, I don’t really have a problem with opinions or people having them. I have my fair share and I share them, mostly in this blog, but they’re out there. I also think it’s beyond awesome that I get to live in a country where everyone can share their opinions without fear of reprisal.
I think it’s something we all take for granted…
But, come on, no one needs to know our opinions about EVERYTHING all the time. Unfortunately, we live in a soundbite society now where almost everyone feels the need to share their every waking thought the instant they think it. We don’t realize that we’re just adding to the noise and clutter that distracts us from important things.
We become so distracted by petty and trite offenses that we miss the real injustices and suffering in the world. Maybe if we kept most of our opinions to ourselves it would be easier to see things from another person’s point of view. We may not agree with them, but at least we could empathize and be less judgmental. Maybe if we kept most of our opinions to ourselves we would give others less ammunition to use against us. Maybe if we kept most of our opinions to ourselves we could use our words to have a bigger impact on the direction of our country as a whole.