Opinion: Forming an Educated Opinion as Important as Ever

By Shai Vogler
Ranger Reporter

Shai Vogler

There may be no “right” opinion, but I believe there is a right way to have an opinion.

The first step is making sure the opinion is your own. I was watching one of Rachael Ray’s 30-Minute Meals shows when she was talking about how the different brands of foods we buy usually are passed down from parents, and I couldn’t help but think about how that holds true for more than just food brands. Parents’ opinions also are passed down to children.

Remember back in elementary school, arguing with other kids using our parent’s words? Then throughout middle and high school, our arguments started to become a mix of our parents’, our friends’ and popular culture.

Now that we are in college and our opinions actually are starting to guide and impact our lives, it is time to differentiate what we think we believe from what we actually believe.

The easiest way to do it is to simply ask yourself what you believe and why. If the answer to why is “because” or “I don’t know” or “that’s just what I’ve always believed,” find a more substantial reason.

Knowing the “why” to your opinion is its foundation. The lack of a defined opinion can be the root of reckless behavior. If you are not sure what you believe or why you believe it, it makes it easier for others to make decisions for you that you might actually be against if you thought it through.

Also be careful to avoid extremes and oversimplified answers.

Sins and the shades themselves are about the only things I can think of that are black and white. Realize the room for interpretation around opinions. It also is important to consider the different conditions, circumstances and situations there are. For example, think about gay marriage. Is it right or wrong?

That topic deserves more than one simple answer on either extreme. Factors to be considered include religion, separation of church and state, society’s definition of marriage, the fact that atheists and rapists can get married and the fact that rights such as medical decisions in the event of incapacitation are tied to marriage.

Do not restrict opinions; they are meant to be complex.The last step in the right way to have an opinion isto watch the way you share it.

In the world of open Internet, social media has become a tool for businesses and institutions to weed out undesirables.

Unfortunately, some of them may consider you undesirable because of an emotionally exaggerated opinion you happened to share on a status update on a really bad day.

While I never would advocate hiding or holding back opinions, it always is important to share them in a respectable manner.

It is no good to have an opinion if you never are taken seriously when you express it.

The whole point of having an opinion is to enrich yourself and others, and to get that done, it has to be done in the right way.

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