Tag Archives: kindness

In My Opinion

If you were born and are breathing at this moment, then you have an opinion. It seems as though the advent of the internet, forums, blogs, instant messaging, social media, and the like, have given a larger majority of people a platform on which to express their opinion. Right or wrong, good or bad, we now live in a world of commentators, posts, articles and pins that define how our perfect world should be if it were left up to our singular voice.

The other day, I was counseling one of my children and the words, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all,” popped out of my mouth. This is a go-to phrase I’ve uttered frequently over the years, but in this particular instance, it seemed to carry a bit more weight than normal because I realized that my child was merely expressing his opinion. Therein lies the dilemma of having a voice and an opinion, and the proper balance of the two.

An opinion sums up a person’s view, judgement or belief. ¬†Inherently, there is nothing wrong with an opinion. Yet, you can voice your opinion to one audience on any given day and get a round of applause. Announce the same opinion to a different group and you might get vilified. So is there any safe universal territory when it comes to opinions? Unfortunately, the answer is no. And that fundamental fact is why we will never come together wholly as a human race.

As humans, we group together based on our opinions. Pro-life vs. pro-choice, pro-environment vs. pro-fracking, and so on. As for myself, I adhere to one simple rule when it comes to my opinions…they are mine and mine alone. Unless it goes against a moral code (ex. thou shall not kill), then my opinion is for me to live my life by; I do not force it upon any other adult – period. Just as my child has the right to an unkind word in his opinion, he does not have the right to make anyone else feel inferior, demeaned, or saddened by it should he choose to voice it to the world as a newly dispensed law.

You see, humans can’t come together wholly because of our need to not only have an opinion, but also because of our need to control others and force our opinions on our fellow mankind. We even force it upon Mother Nature. Whether it be through casual conversation or jamming it down someone else’s throat, our egos can’t let go of the fact that although we might have an opinion, it might not be right – or for everyone. Or even valid outside of our mouth.

Within the very definition of an opinion therein lies the conflict – it is a belief or judgement. As a belief, it is a beautiful part of the foundation of you. As a judgement, it can turn ugly and redefine you as inflexible and needing to be in control, no matter the consequence.

If we were to spend more time forming our opinions into tolerant, respectful manifestations of who we are, then there would be a lot less suffering and wars. Maybe leading by force and judgement is not the way to go. Maybe living an opinion sets a better example. Think about zealots solely praying peacefully vs. suicide bombings. How about pro-life activists showing a spared life becoming a life-saving surgeon vs. a picture of a unrelatable fetus on a demonstrator’s sign? How about working through the issues of healthcare with enlightened minds vs. shouting across the aisle like a spoiled child? How about it?

While negative opinions seem to capture more headlines, it is the positive beliefs that, when nurtured, are truly the catalysts for slow and sustainable change.

But then again, that is just my humble opinion.

Peace.

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20 Thoughts for a Better Mankind

I love quotes. Especially when they are made into pretty little graphics and elegantly placed on Pinterest for the world to see. So I made up some of my own quotes – 20 thoughts for how I like to live my life.

Will they make for a better mankind? Debatable at the very least, yet inspirational at the very most; as many quotes have been for me throughout the years. Here goes:

  1. Be the bandaid, but don’t get stuck on the wound.
  2. If I judged everything by the outside, my heart would never get a place on the jury.
  3. Give a “thank you” wave, because your middle finger only makes me want to look up.
  4. Hold the door. If you don’t, you’re telling God not to open another one for you.
  5. Smile more, because the earth couldn’t survive without sunshine.
  6. Don’t litter or you are trash.
  7. Never say to yourself, “It’s ok, just this one time,” if you want more time.
  8. Give a disabled person a high five, not a lowered head.
  9. Have an opinion. Keep it in your head if it’s spiteful. Put it on paper if it’s respectful.
  10. Don’t carry your heart on your sleeve in case you want to change your shirt.
  11. Rise above, because if you sink below, only you will drown.
  12. Listen with your ears, not with words coming out of your mouth.
  13. Pay it forward, backwards, and sideways.
  14. I pardon you FOR only to GIVE myself peace.
  15. Be kind even in the face of evil, or you will become a mirror.
  16. Wish for world peace, because believing in something, is something.
  17. The earth was here first and you were here second. So putting the earth first is the natural order of things.
  18. Use good manners. Please and Thank You will get you more Welcomes.
  19. Use your hands to make things right instead of your finger to point out what’s wrong.
  20. Be humble. Big heads don’t fit through windows of opportunities.

Peace.

P.S. If you cite my quotes out of context, please credit me. Or pay cash. Bwahahaha. And please feel free to post your favorite quote(s) in the comments. I’d love to read them!