Monthly Archives: December 2010

It’s My Opinion, Not Yours

As a writer and columnist, it is my job to provoke the thought of my audience. Regardless of whether or not there is a general agreement in regards to my opinion, the fact of the matter lies within itself. An opinion, by definition, is “a personal view, attitude or appraisal.” By no means does this indicate that I am dictating how people should live their lives or am laying my morality upon others. As human beings and members of a democratic society, we are all entitled to have our own set of values and beliefs and deserve some respect in exchange for this expression. It frightens me to think that some people challenge the freedom of opinion by openly attacking the insight of others, threatening the liberal system that they claim to defend.

Upon browsing the websites of various newspapers, the discovery can be made that people are quick to comment on stories of personal interest. The comments – including the good, the bad, and the ugly – are usually posted within the discretion of the editor. While some people are downright rude and take the opinions of others as a personal attack on their own set of moral beliefs, others use the forum as a learning tool to better understand the society in which we live in. By being tolerant and understanding that not everyone can think in the same way which we do, it becomes unnecessary to attack the perspectives of others.

I thoroughly appreciate all of the feedback received from my readers, regardless of whether or not the content is nasty and demeaning in nature. Acknowledging that everyone has the right to an opinion, it takes a certain kind of individual to step away from the argument as it pertains to personal life and instead look at it from a more macro-level perspective. Instead of taking the judgmental remarks and general intolerance demonstrated by so many, it’s time that we realize as a society that haters will always hate.

Some of my favorite web-based comments and later, conflicts, are posted on the website of the Bangor Daily News. As many of the stories are deep rooted in the communities from which readers subscribe, people have a good sense of the issues at hand and the local politics surrounding the story. After the triple homicide in Amity over the summer, people took their opinions to the comment box of the BDN, taking no shame in explicitly defaming alleged murderer Thayne Ormsby. With many of the opinions expressed being homophobic and ill-supported, these people are still allowed to express their opinion. While we might not like what we read, it needs to be realized that our culture embraces freedom of speech. There is nothing gained by trying to put these people in their place and by no means should our own value sets be threatened.

As hard as it might be to hold back the urge to instantly bash people who disagree with us, it’s important as educated and tolerant individuals to refrain from the temptation. As this is my opinion, it does not need to be yours and I wouldn’t wish anyone to adapt a view that they are not most wholeheartedly in agreeance with. Merely a suggestion, I hope that at some point, everyone can put their own feelings aside and see the opinions of others from a fresh perspective.

As long as there are people roaming this earth, there will never be a general agreement amongst the population. Part of what makes the world as diverse as it is are differing opinions and the fact that not one person thinks exactly the same way. Instead of trying to combat this amazing aspect of human life, lets embrace it instead. Although you might not agree with someone, it is not grounds to attack their intelligence by calling their arguments poorly supported, or pointing a finger at their beliefs. You might not agree with me, but hey. It’s my opinion.