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  • Writer's pictureKarl Walker-Finch

The opportunity of opinion

You are allowed to have an opinion.

You’re also allowed to not agree with someone else’s opinion, that is having your own opinion.

You are allowed to form your own opinions, though genuine independent thought is probably a modern myth with our minds bombarded with newsfeeds and infinite scrolls all day every day. Long gone are the days of the Greek Philosophers who it seems had time to muse the months away.

You are also allowed to change your opinions. Being open to a rational argument, being able to assimilate the data and make a balanced judgement, being able to play Devil’s advocate, are all essential in modern society.

You don’t always have to vote the same way or espouse the same cliches no matter how apt they may seem. The mindless or deliberately misleading repetition of catachrestic metaphor is particularly irritating. Always be wary of our tendency to place more value and trust in something that rhymes, over a fact.

The title of this blog which has most probably evaded the notice of most people is “Capricious Ramblings of a Millennial” or CROAM. The caprice is my get out of jail free card. It allows me to express my opinion at this point in time but with a clause that I am making no promises that I will not respond to a well positioned argument to the contrary.

Lord Henry in The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

“The only difference between a caprice and a lifelong passion is that a caprice lasts a little longer”

I’m always open to hearing other opinions, particularly if they are in contrary to my own. Only in this way can we grow. Shut yourself up in an echo chamber of reverberating ideologies that hold with your own and you’re making fast progress towards a complete stop.

Of course, social media does a great job of filtering our anything that doesn’t appear to fit in with our beliefs. That’s why you’ll never saw the posts from thousands of fake accounts demanding Brexit, if like me, you are surrounded by “Bremainers” and can count the number of “Brexiteers” you know on one hand. The media moguls know all too well how satisfying we all find it to have a daily dose of affirmation.

Surround yourself with people who have different views to you, whether you’re a dentist with a different opinion on a tooth, or a politician seeking reform. Open your mind and take in a different viewpoint. You don’t have to change your beliefs and in truth, in enacting the melancholic rhetoric of a Lord Henry leads the once innocent Dorian to a barbaric fate.

You can however respect that most of the time, views held contrary to your own are not formulated without reason, maybe you will learn something that will help you grow.

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