What is it? I think most people would agree that opinion, or having an opinion, is something that we or another person says about something that expresses what they personally think or feel about it. As such, it is their personal interpretation, as they themselves see it. This being the common meaning, opinion is something that we tend to hear a LOT from people, isn’t it?
Few people seem shy when it comes to expressing their opinion! It seems that it is a very “natural” and common thing for most people to do, to just tell us what they think about something. I think most of us spend most of our day’s either telling people what we think about something or asking what they think. We hear this during conversation most often immediately following the expression, “I think…..”, just as I began the previous sentence!
Several years ago I watched a delightful movie with my children entitled “Short Circuit”, about an out-of-control robot who develops an unexpected capacity to learn, and by learning becomes aware of itself. In one scene of the movie it excitedly reads every book it can find, including an entire encyclopedia, and while doing so gleefully shouts out, “Input–more input!” The more it learned, you see, the more aware of itself and its environment it became. Seeing this movie helped me to get a clearer picture of what opinion is, or what it is, at least, in my opinion!
To me, a person’s opinion about a subject or event is based upon the “input” or information they have received up to the moment that they decide to give their opinion. If, however, they were, like our robot in the movie, to discover new information the minute after giving their opinion, their knowledge and understanding could easily change, along with their opinion of the subject! This has happened to me often! One day I might have a very strong opinion about something, but the next day hear something totally new about the subject that I had not previously realized, and am forced to…”oop’s”…. revise my previous opinion.
When we give out our opinion, then, aren’t we really saying; “Based on the information and knowledge that I have up to this moment, this is what I think….but my thoughts could easily change if I learn more information about this!”?
That, “in my opinion”, is the true meaning of opinion. To me, is seems that most people do not understand this. We even kill each other based upon our so-called opinions! In fact, the three most controversial subjects in the world are based almost exclusively upon opinion: Politics, Religion, and Philosophy!
Think about that—in light of this “One Man’s” definition of opinion. I welcome YOUR opinion in response!