Something that Needs to be Said: Your Opinion isn’t Another’s Reality

by Uche Onegeria 8 Aug , 2017  

I have been following this incredible question, “what is something that needs to be said?” on Quora for a while now but have been lazy to put down my 2 cents.

Here is my answer below,

Something that needs to be said is that our Opinions, Judgments, Perceptions etc. are all ours, and ours alone.

In life, we often offer our opinions on issues, whether solicited or not. Some of us share facts backed by data, while others share their opinions. Many of these opinions are borne out of great knowledge base and maybe careful and intelligent observation about life in general. Others opinions might border on paranoia, bias, sentiments and a whole lot of bullshit.

However, our opinions irrespective of how great they are, are ours and ours alone. We cannot lord them over others.

Here are some everyday examples where we might lord our opinions over others:

Opinion: Kim Kardashian made her money from her sex tape. Her money is trash. Her family is garbage; the Kartrashians!

Reality: You can take this opinion to the grave but it will not turn the Kardashian millions to trash. I don’t know why someone who went through the nightmare of having their sex tape publicized but made something out of it is continually being victimized.

I understand her lifestyle might not be approved by most, but that is why the world is big enough for all of us. Kim would not want your life and you obviously don’t want hers so, problem solved! (You would think)

Opinion: I’m an Atheist, so all Christians are stupid. I’d prove it by quoting redundant and ancient biblical texts every day back to them.

Reality: It’s always interesting when some Atheists chase Christians around with biblical texts they currently do not abide by.

We get it! The bible is dumb. Now, move on & be happy with your choice. We cannot all be Christians, Muslims or Atheists but we can all peacefully and respectfully exist together.

Opinion: My neighbour is a hoe! I have seen 18 different men walk into her house in just 1 month!

Reality: Maybe most of those men are her classmates, cousins or ….

Whatever the case, if you never ask your neighbour who they are, your opinion is a reflection of your ugly reality. Change it!

Opinion: Adam, can you imagine how rude Sheila was to me at work yesterday? She totally ignored me throughout our meeting. She thinks she knows it all. 1 day, she will get what she deserves. Bitch!

Reality: Maybe Sheila was just having a bad day and slipped by failing to observe some social etiquette. Or maybe Sheila is just focused on the job & has had no time for the little things. Personally, when people approach me whining about the Sheilas of this world, I usually defend Sheila.

Opinion: She must be dating him for his money!

Reality: Mr/Miss Know-it-all, we’d all never really know now, will we?

Opinion: (Canadian chatting with a new immigrant from Nigeria). Did you watch the Grammys last night? Oh! It’s this music award show where these outstanding artists are recognized……**********….

Reality: Don’t assume! Wait for them to ask you what the Grammy is then you can launch into your explanations. FYI: Nigerians have internet, cable, smart TVs etc. It’s not that very different over there.

Opinion: Oh! Feminists are this and that. Oh! Feminists dislike men. Oh! I met this feminist and she was so vile. No wonder she is unmarried. No man would date someone like that.

Reality: Maybe you met a woman who dislikes men. Maybe you just met a vile woman who is also a feminist. Her vileness does not remove the “feminism” from her. Maybe she also decided to not get married.

I bet that woman might also be intelligent, a great cook, a philanthropist, a pianist, maybe a writer even. But we ignore her many other attributes and focus on feminism because deep within us, that is the ONLY label we want to invalidate.

Learning outcomes

Focus on facts. State your observations if you have to. Don’t interpret and replace people’s lives and their actions with your (unfair) opinions. If they murdered someone, and there is proof, then you can say they murdered someone but if they did not, do not say you think they did.

What we project about others’ actions usually indicates our state of mind:

  • Negative perceptions: Bitter or unbelievably ignorant bordering on downright ugly personality!
  • Positive perceptions: a Beautiful mind which gives others the benefit of a doubt and 2nd chances.

Let us be kind but let our thoughts be kinder.

Do you have a negative or beautiful mind? You decide :).

If you wish to read more from me on Quora, find my Quora profile here. Thank you for reading this piece. I hope it was well worth your time.

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