“Keep Your Opinions To Yourself.” No.

You don’t know what you’re talking about. Keep your opinion to yourself.

There is a thing we love to tell people when we strongly disagree with them, but wouldn’t dare tell someone who agrees with us completely. It generally goes that if you speak your mind often enough, you fill find people who will tell you to keep your opinion to yourself. They are literally requesting that you simply to not speak what you think at all on the matter. Find somebody you disagree with enough, and you might do the same.

It’s natural to not want to hear something you believe is wrong even be uttered. We have a distaste for lies, for mistruths, for miscommunication and misunderstanding. We’d rather not know people are poisoning the air with it. Given the opportunity, we like having the power of stopping it up. Hear someone say something wrong, and you want to tell them to shut up. If we can take what they are speaking and diminish it to a mere opinion, then to us it has no point in being uttered.

Everybody has an opinion about everything, and the more you do in the open, the more you encounter those opinions in the open. We share what we think. We’re passionate about our ideas and how we live our lives, and if we think we can benefit others, we will share.

Keep your opinion to yourself. But if you do, will it ever be challenged? What if “keep your opinion to yourself” is itself a popular opinion that is actually nothing more than an opinion?

If we don’t share our opinions, we have no discourse. It’s not the dishing out of our opinions that is error, but the way in which we do so. When we don’t listen, when we aren’t informed, when we’re rude, when we fly in out of nowhere, when we rant, when we repetitively become the “actually” guy, and especially when our actions don’t match our words.

Go ahead, voice your opinion, but be always ready for feedback, for reproof, for adjustment. In this way, the sharing of opinions can lead us to understanding, to learning, and to truth. If your opinion happens to be right, then you may have a duty to share it (in the right time and place, and in the right way). If your opinion is wrong, it may not be changed at all until you share it with someone who can correct you.

While it may be ideal that every time a person speaks incorrectly that someone else corrects them and they thank the individual for the correction, conversations like this to occur all the time. Much successful learning comes not just from asking questions, but from making false statements that are challenged.

If we keep our opinions to ourselves, we still have those opinions, and the truth is that opinions aren’t just floating around in our heads—they influence all of our decisions. By sharing your opinions, you let people know what kind of person you are, and what actions you are likely to take, or support. Let people be aware of what kind of person you are. Most of all, allow your opinions to be corrected when faced with something true that challenges their validity.

Keep your opinion to yourself? What if that is intellectual laziness, not wanting to hear ideas we disagree with because we’d rather not bother with them?

Don’t keep your opinions to yourself. Keep them informed and malleable to new and valid information.

That’s my opinion, and I am glad to have shared it.

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