Mon. May 16th, 2022

Photo Credits: Evan Brooks

Everyone has opinions, and being able to properly elaborate upon your own opinions is an important and necessary skill for life. Anyone can have an opinion, but taking the time to formulate yours with facts and concrete evidence goes a long way. In our day-to-day lives we should seek to understand not only the reason behind our opinions and ideals, but also to understand the ideas of others through listening intently and actively.

First, how often do you really take a deep dive into what you believe, what opinions you hold and the reasons behind them? I am assuming not all that often, even though doing so is imperative in the process of developing solid, understandable and defendable positions. We all stand somewhere, so why not take the time to really gauge why it is you stand where you do? In other words, take the time to understand the origin of your opinions, and do research to see how based in reality they are.

After you have taken the time to evaluate your own ideas, there should be an emphasis on how you deal with others and their opinions. Realize that no one thinks exactly the same, and that fact is perfectly fine and even necessary for a diversified pool of thought. Ideas need to be diverse so they can be challenged, and the best practices for certain tasks can be settled on, but sometimes there just is no right answer.

In a blog post, published on the Huffington Post website by Katie Hoffman, one of the 15 “important truths” about opinions is that, “what makes sense and is obvious to one person” may not be as “transparent to someone else.” Hoffman’s example of “I refuse to concede that whipped cream is a legitimate cake frosting solution,” is something you may feel differently on.

If we understand the idea that not everyone sees the world as you do, then we can begin to approach encounters where opinions are plentiful and not get overwhelmed by them. Carrying out a hostile attack on someone else’s engrained ideas of the world will no longer become necessary when you realize those ideas have been planted through their environment and personal experiences, and not out of any place of evil.

In an article from a fellow student newspaper, the Loyola Phoenix, the Phoenix Editorial Board wrote on the importance of opinion sections within newspapers. The article stated how “opinions not only give readers the chance to respond to one another’s views, but they also provide a platform to criticize” any articles that may have been published within that very same newspaper.

The reason why newspapers like The Quad have sections for individuals to voice their opinions is because it allows for accountability and a larger spread of free thought. Know though, that when you spread your opinion it might be challenged. Challenges to other’s opinions should be based in fact and should intend not to persecute someone, but rather offer another viewpoint that the individual can adopt without much changing cost.

Overall, try to understand your own opinions, where they come from, why you have them, and develop them further through research and listening to others. When listening to others and their opinions, be respectful and cognizant of the fact that everyone has lived different lives and may have come to a different conclusion from your own. Lastly, it is important to share your developed opinions, and a way you can do that is by writing for the Op-Ed section of The Quad student newspaper.

Evan Brooks is a fourth-year Business Management major with minors in Economics and Civic & Professional Leadership.

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