Why Opinions Matter

Everybody is opinionated

The world is opinionated. You are opinionated and I am opinionated. The kid who took birth in the modern world and is feeding on the internet is opinionated and the kid who has learned the rules of life in a government school located on a dirt road somewhere in the Thar Desert near India-Pakistan border is also opinionated. Our politicians sitting at top government positions are biased and so are our journalists, even though their job asks them not to be. Even the illiterate is opinionated on whether Allopathy is good or Ayurvedic treatment, whether BJP should form the government or Congress, whether Brahmins are god-like or oppressors of the past, whether Dalits are rich or poor. Wherever you look, a perspective will be there, an opinion already shaped. Whether it is based on rationality, word of mouth, trust-based, or egocentric, it doesn’t matter. What matters is the opinion that may hurt, offend, or make you proud!

Billion Social Neighbours

In the modern world, with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, WordPress, Reddit, and many other platforms that have already filled the rim of the cup of our social life, we can’t help but express ourselves, our thoughts on all these platforms to keep a space, to build an identity, and to remain relevant in the modern world. Well, some people like to share opinions every day, and some like to share only when Pokemon Go becomes famous, Ice bucket challenge is happening, on terrorist attacks in Paris or some important first world city, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day and anything that maintains the cool quotient. But the big point is that everyone is writing, posting photos, and sharing videos, gifs, and other’s opinions. As a writer and an active social media enthusiast, I can guarantee that whatever you do on social media, it is definitely going to create mixed responses. Some of them will be visible in an instant and some will be reflected only in a span of time after perhaps, tens or hundreds of your posts. Actually, when you do anything on social media, you are letting others judge you, and it is not possible that someone won’t think that you are a bitch. Even now, someone who is reading this article might be thinking, ‘what shit!’

Global Events

Xenophobic Donald Trump is fighting for US Presidential elections against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton who has a record of carelessly mishandling classified information in the past. It has been more than 26 months since Narendra Modi replaced ManMohan Singh as the Prime Minister of India. Cow Vigilantism is on the rise in the country and has reached to the nooks and cranny of the country with even sane minds reacting to people eating beef (and most of the times, nobody is eating beef! Who gives a damn about beef when your life is at risk?). Dalits recently stopped skinning the dead cows in the state of Gujarat after 3 Dalits were mercilessly beaten by Hindu cow vigilantes for doing the same. The video of merciless beating of 3 Dalits is open for everyone to see on the internet. Recently, Gurgaon, Mumbai, and Bangalore were all affected by floods, and so were Assam, Orissa and West Bengal, but nobody talked about the later. Iron Lady of India, Irom Sharmila, who was on a hunger strike from last 16 years, is no longer on fast to remove AFSPA from Manipur and she is set to join politics in the coming elections. 12 AAP MLAs from the national capital, New Delhi, are either in jail or have been arrested for a few days for some reasons or other. Kejriwal thinks Modi can kill him in near future. Around 80 civilians were recently killed in clashes during curfew in the aftermath of the encounter of the Hizbul commander Burhan Wani, who was also a local 22-year-old boy. Hundreds also lost eyesight due to the use of pellet guns in the same clashes by the Army. An AIF plane recently vanished over the Bay of Bengal and 29 passengers of the plane are now feared dead, but does anybody care? A terrorist attack is happening almost every day in the world, sometimes in first world countries such as USA, Britain, France and Germany, sometimes in third world countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, and any other African, Middle East, or Asian country. Islamophobia is on the rise. People are debating on refugee crisis, hijab, Quran, pedophilia, Prophets, and radicalization. ISIS is also on the rise and its presence can be felt in the form of terrorist attacks all over the world. There is a war going on in Syria, Yemen, and some parts of Nigeria. Britain recently decided to do Brexit after a public referendum and they have a new PM now who just happened to be a lady. Game of Thrones may turn into a battle among ladies for the Iron Throne in the coming two seasons, and Amazon has a big sale from 8th to 10th August 2016.

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How can you think people who are reading this article won’t have an opinion on any of these matters? Even if these issues don’t matter to someone, then perhaps the recent marriage in the locality matters to them, or the location of their honeymoon. Perhaps, potholes matter to them, or an incomplete bridge over the river. Perhaps caste matters to them, or the super growth of the religion which has been defined as their nemesis religion congenitally. Perhaps, poor mobile network matters, or no public WiFi in Delhi. The list is long and opinions longer. Then, why do people abuse on the internet for having opinions when everybody has opinions?

The Gap as we see it

No, I am not saying everybody has an opinion on every accident/incident/event/identity/religion/God/government/blah/blah. But everybody has an opinion on something which may offend, or make your feel proud. There is a vast gap between informed opinions and opinions that are formed without any logical rationality to them. We must try to dwindle the gap, and not try to suppress the opinions of literate or illiterate individuals. We must spread awareness and make changes in the education system so that people make informed opinions on matters of importance with rationalization, and not on the fact that Ramu from next street says so. But we must also fight for the right of an individual to have an opinion on any matter.

A Realization of Billion Existing Opinions

We must come to terms with the fact that someone’s opinion and belief may be an exact opposite of what you may believe is right. Yes, stop getting offended at people because they think Islam is a religion of peace, or GST shouldn’t be implemented in India. Try to convince yourself that your God isn’t the only God and your favorite PM isn’t the only savior. Stop getting offended at people who do not believe in what you believe. Stop abusing people just because their thoughts don’t agree with yours. The world is huge and there are 7.4 billion people on Earth. How many people will you abuse? How many times will you feel offended because someone shared their views on your religion? How many times will you not realize that people have opinions and you live in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic world? Express yourself if you have something to say, try to reason with those who don’t share your beliefs, argue with them, and tell them you don’t agree with them. Try to rationalize your own thoughts, and always listen to others!

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Conclusion

Perspectives/Opinions are always different from facts and facts can be misrepresented. This single line is enough to understand the world full of opinions and why we must tolerate them, in turn trying to aware people of as many facts as possible and also looking for a better opinion for the self.




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