“Fight for your opinions, but do not believe that they contain the whole truth, or the only truth.” Charles A. Dana
Right, I’m back on the blog and the thing that’s been stuck on my mind for a few days now is opinions. We all have them; we all like to share them. There’s a term I came across today called ‘theory of mind’. It basically means the awareness that other people have points of view different from our own. Developmentally, we’re supposed to catch on to that concept around the age of 4. I guess that makes all of us toddlers again at some point or another.
A lot of times I find myself benefitting from other people’s thoughts and experiences. Whether I’m wearing my mummy or my knitting hat, or my writing pearls for that matter, I like talking to other people. Listen to what they’re doing, what’s good and what’s challenging. Compare notes. Expand my horizon. Decide what I may or may not want to try for myself.
Quite naturally, our opinions change as our life changes. We may get older, and hopefully wiser. Or more experienced, at the very least. We may go from single to married (or vice versa). From couples to parents. Move to a new job, or a new country. Move out of a job or back home (to where we grew up, not back in with Mum & Dad! Although on occasion, we may do that too.)
As a parent, I tend to come across opinions all over the place. Being a new mum seems to be a minefield of choices, and therefore opinions. Breast or bottle feed? Cry-it-out or Attachment Parenting? Purées or baby-led weaning? Stay at home or return to work? The list goes on…
I guess the challenge comes in when we become very attached to our own viewpoint. It seems to me that when we get rather hooked on our opinions, it’s often as a way of defending our own choices, and ultimately ourselves. Validating our decisions and ways of looking at the world. Sometimes we may get so worked up that we forget that maybe our opinion wasn’t even asked for. And where exactly is that fine line when our opinion stops being helpful and starts being hurtful?
I don’t necessarily have the answer for that. But I imagine by the time people get all emotional defending their viewpoint, some line or other is being crossed in a not good way. And when everyone gets emotional, it’s easy to forget that some opinions may come with good intentions, at least initially… before things got all heated.
Now of course I am prone to getting passionate and kinda hardheaded about stuff myself. Mostly I like to think I have benign intentions in sharing my thoughts. But I’ve been known to overstep my boundaries. After all, I’m only human.
And I can’t wait for the day when someone points out that between different posts, I have ended up contradicting myself. In which case I’ll claim that I have moved on. Become wiser and more experienced. Or just suffered yet another episode of baby brain.
Or I might just resort to quoting Oscar Wilde saying “In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane.”
Which coincidentally is a great way of suffering from baby brain whilst appearing intellectual.