21 January 2014

I am a woman of strong opinions

I am a woman of strong opinions.

If you're a regular reader of this blog, this isn't probably a surprise.  If you've known me for more than a minute in real life, this probably isn't a surprise either.
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It's true. 

And yes my dear pedants, by it's very definition, an opinion doesn't always have to be factual  and will contain an element of bias. Which is why we sometimes define things as a professional opinion, or a personal opinion depending on who we are trying to persuade.

These are not my feet
But everything in life contains an element of bias.  All of us have an opinion on everything from what is the best cereal for breakfast, what is the best genre of movie, is bacon basically god?

We do nothing on a daily basis that is not coloured in some way by our opinion.  Our own experiences, our education, our lifestyle, our beliefs, our ethics, our families, our friends, our absolutely everything, colour our opinion.

Opinions can change. 

My favourite Jesus Christ Superstar line is "We all have truths, are yours the same as mine?".  Pontius Pilate was basically saying that even facts, when viewed through different eyes, take on different meaning. Basically we can have different opinions, even though we use the same facts.  I'm not interpreting the bible here people, just the musical - so please don't start quoting Leviticus at me. 

Why all this pondering on 'opinion'? Quite simply, somebody referred to my writing as opinionated the other day and its thrown a big black cloth over my brain and I can't find any words to write without second guessing my own blog.  The thing is, this person wasn't being mean, because I asked her if she thought it too opinionated and she said no, she was a regular reader and enjoyed it.  

My blog is all about 'having a say on everything from house work to human rights - commentary, observation and opinion'.  I write what I know, what I see, what I feel and what I wonder.  I do have strong opinions.

I have always had strong opinions.  But not at the expense of learning, of developing, of growing.

Bill Watterson nails it again
I am truly grateful for the freedom to have an opinion, something I know that many women and men don't have.  I am not preaching hate, I am not preaching ignorance, and I like a feisty discussion around ideas, concepts, politics, ethics, people, music, books, movies.  Anything really.  And I love to be around people of strong opinions.  A quick audit of friends and family demonstrates that 'strong opinions' applies to most of them.  

So I come back to the word 'opinionated'.  If I was quieter, less adamant in my expression I would perhaps be seen as perceptive.  Which is also an interpretation of truth.  A perception and an opinion are not distant cousins by any means. 

I am perceptive.  I have self awareness.  I do know what I'm talking about.  And I have 20 years of team days backing up these statements.  I also lack the ability to lick arse.  20 years of team days backs this statement too.  I always keep team feedback - it's nice to look back through it and see how some things have grown and shaped, and others, like the old report card saying 'Alison would benefit from talking less in class" never change.  

The other one that came up regularly was 'never afraid to share her opinion'.

Why would I be?  Why should I be? Why is my opinion any less valid than another?  Your opinion is equally valid too.  That's the beauty of opinions.  We can learn so much, share so much, yell 'YOU ARE WRONG', bang the table and yell 'MORE WINE! We are not going home until you see that I AM RIGHT'.  That's how I met my husband actually.  He was probably wrong though (right beautiful man?).

So opinionated is what I am. I am not intransigent. And that's good.  If I was opinionated and intransigent I'd just be a wanker.  And nobody wants to be that. 

And now I am going to find a picture or two to illustrate this blog and get back to using my opinions about food to decided what to have for lunch.

Yes. Yes I am.