Your Opinion, My Opinion

A friend of mine frequently says that “everyone is entitled to his own opinion — but no one is entitled to the wrong facts.” Yet it seems to be universally true that confidence seems to go with ignorance; the less we know, in many cases, the more dogmatic we are in our statements.

I love the observations that Lawrence Fargher makes concerning differences of opinion. He points out that friendships have been broken, families disrupted and civil wars incited because of those differences of opinion. He says, “The blame does not lie at the door of the question involved nor in the diversity of opinions regarding them but in the human folly of trying to force unwelcome beliefs upon people.”

He says that “human progress demands great diversity of thought and action. We are like dwellers around the foot of a great mountain. None of us can see all sides of the mountain, just as none of us can see all the truth about any matter.” With that in mind, “instead of wrangling among ourselves as to whether the mountain is covered with trees or is bare of vegetation … is cut by torrents and rushing streams or has no streams at all,” etc., wouldn’t it be wiser “to get together and compare notes as to the different viewpoints?”

That’s clear, logical, common-sense thinking, and it’s a useful approach to settling some of those little differences before they arise. According to the biggest best-seller of all time, “In the counsel of the multitudes there is wisdom,” so if we do have those differences of opinion, we should carefully listen to what the other person has to say because he could be right. In the process, we learn something ourselves, and instead of antagonizing someone, we could make a friend of him. Take that approach to life, and I’ll see you at the top!

Remember that in all probability, what you know today will not provide what you want and need tomorrow.

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