Opinion – belief stronger than impression and less strong than positive knowledge
Opinion – implies a conclusion thought out yet open to dispute
It is time to address why I am here. Recently, when The Daily Post asked for my UVP, this is what I wrote to them:
In my writing, I want to question established notions of every philosophical and cultural concept and offer newer, more affirming but practical perspectives to show that opinions can change the world despite the bad name that they get.
I have touched on my statement of purpose(or say, my Mission Statement, for all those who have seen Jerry Maguire or work in places where they issue mission statements) on a number of occasions. For example, I wrote a post called (Of) Of Opinions, where I wrote specifically about running this blog. Now, I want to get into what opinions can mean and cause, and why I feel compelled to rescue them from what they have become.
It is time opinions are depoliticized. It is time opinions are humanized. For humanity is greater than religion, politics etc. The wider definition of humanity does not even pertain only to humans. It is the survival of all life, with dignity. With purpose. The definitions I have quoted above from the Merriam-Webster dictionary offer more perspectives on opinions than we usually assume. An opinion is a “belief stronger than impression.” When we form an impression of someone or something, we only get to know them, form an idea of them. An opinion is when we add meaning to them, evaluate them. Yet, it is “less strong than positive knowledge” because the meaning that we add to them is our meaning, reflective of ourselves – personality, knowledge, experience. If there are others who can relate to our evaluations, our opinions, then it instils a sense of connection, a solidarity. However, we must always, always remember that not all will ever agree. An opinion, while meaningful, is not forceful. It is a thought, not a law. Not a declaration. It can never graduate to positive knowledge because there is no such thing as positive knowledge. The absolutist notion of science and economy is erroneous, as their numerous revisions have proved. There is no real fact, no confirmed knowledge which goes to show, everything, every thought that has ever been had, is an opinion.
And, an opinion must be “open”. If it is not open to consideration, revision and rejection, it can never grow in significance. One can never be right, but one can try to. An opinion can be a “conclusion thought out.” It should not be a spontaneous rambling. It should be an exertion, to consider all sides as well as what lies inside, to come closer to the truth. An opinion, while attempting towards the universal, should not forget that it is personal. Always, always personal. Even if a the leader of a nation claims to represent the opinion of its people, let he or she not forget that that opinion cannot, possibly, reflect each individual. However, the very act of that opinion having reached a platform of such widespread reach(if it, in fact, did start growing with the masses and not with the sole discretion of those who can express it) shows how powerful the well-thought out conclusion of a person can be. An opinion may be free, but it is how we run the world, and ourselves.
Opinion, first used in the 14th century, is a word of Anglo-French origin, which in turn comes from the Latin verb opinor. According to Wiktionary, it means:
I suppose, imagine, deem, think or judge.
This selection of verbs which we, in English, use for diverse situations, go to show the variety of thinking methods that can be used to form opinions. Thus, opinions aren’t the dirty, cheap, deafening, aggressive, meaningless words that they have come to be in our world. They are all of the above wonderful human activities. A supposition, an imagination, even a judgement. An idea based on the infinity of ideas. A question, and a promise to continuously look at the world differently. Always.
P.S. I wrote this in celebration of achieving my first goal here, reaching 100 followers. I shall revisit this topic when I reach my next landmark.