19 March 2009

Must I have an opinion?

So I was driving my little brother home and he asked me my opinion on a subject that is kind of touchy and rather controversial among the household. And for the first time in my life I decided, I will not have an opinion about this. This was immensely liberating. If you have never tried this, look for the right opportunity to do so. You might like the results.

I had been pondering about this the last few days. It came up particularly because I was thinking about people who are famous and how, for no other reason then that they were famous, they were sought after for their opinion on a wide array of ridiculous subjects that all too often they have no expertise in. Another example of this could be seen in Jesus. How many times was he asked questions simply for the intent of trapping him or creating controversy. Many times he simply, and very tactfully, had no opinion.

What if this was a practice that more people should employ. Especially in this day and age. Rather than run our mouths and come up with so much confusion about the broad range of subjects, politics, economics, religion, science, ect… we could speak less and listen more, it is a humbling experience, but most of us don’t really have the experience or understanding to make an educated assessment in most of these fields. Am I going against our right to free speech. I would like to think not. I still am an advocate of those who actually know what they are talking about to get up and speak. I am also an advocate of asking questions continuously so that you can know what you are talking about. But above all these, I am also an advocate of humility and wisdom.

It is like my Dad said as we were driving home, we were listening to the radio which was broadcasting a story about wither or not the economy was on the rebound, “if you put a dozen economists in a room and ask them how the economy was doing you would get 24 opinions.” Perhaps, it is best not to bring that number down a bit…

~ Stephen

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