What is the point of having an opinion on something when it could be wrong?

An opinion can only be wrong if it is about something factual. However, many opinions are about subjective experience. “I don’t like this song.” “Pistachio ice cream is great.” “This place is too crowded.”

A Japanese person once told me that Americans have opinions about everything. Being too opinionated is boorish. It is best not to give an opinion unless it is asked for or it is appropriate to the conversation.

I find it is nice not to have an opinion sometimes. Suspending judgment allows me to be more open to an experience. Suspending judgment can also make you a better listener.

There are times when it is important to have an opinion: at the voting booth, when you are buying a car or when filling out a survey.

When it comes to facts, you can’t possibly know everything, so sometimes you have to risk being wrong and have an opinion. “That guy is acting weird. I think he is dangerous. Let’s cross the street.” “I don’t think it’s going to rain. Let’s go hiking.”

©2016 Stephen L. Martin

Painting: Different Opinions by Louis Charles Moeller

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