Everyone has opinions. I prefer chocolate ice cream over vanilla and cats over dogs. I also prefer walking in the woods to lounging on the beach. Opinions are a view or judgment formed about something. They are a very personal thing. Not everyone agrees on opinions and that’s alright. Even your own opinions will evolve as you grow older. The fact that you are allowed to have a different opinion from someone else is part of your individual freedom. Well, at least in America, for now.
Our constitution affords us our individual freedom, the absence of restraint on our ability to think and act for ourselves. It is this freedom from oppression, by a government, or others in society that allows each of us the opportunity to succeed. We are all different, walk different paths, and have different perspectives. That individual freedom is precious but it automatically carries with it individual responsibility.
It is completely unacceptable to force your opinions on another individual. Oh, you can discuss your position and point to facts that explain why you have a particular view, but that doesn’t guarantee that another person will feel the same way, or be swayed. If convincing them with whatever evidence you have at hand doesn’t change their mind, move on.
Even though we have the freedom of speech in America, it seems that if what you think or say doesn’t agree with one person or another, you are not allowed to express it. Our country used to be a bastion of great thinking. Now you are only allowed to do it in a safe space. How can you expect someone to think outside of the box when you force then to stand in a corner.
This week’s fortune is claimed to be said by Lady Bird Johnson on many quotation sites online, but I haven’t been able to find any valid attribution. Nonetheless, it is a wonderful quote. If the former first lady did say this, it would have been during the Civil Rights Era, when there was a clash for equal rights for all, no matter how different you were. The idea of free thinking and great debate are what made this country great. Hopefully, we won’t let our differences prevent us from keeping it that way.
As an advocate for free speech, please feel free to comment on this post. Your opinions matter to me, but please keep it PG, as younger readers do access my site.