I was in the middle of catching up with one of my favourite podcasts, when they said something that grabbed my attention and sparked this blog entry. This was when one of the hosts alerted the other to the dangers of something they called OPO. I was intrigued. The acronym was new to me, but I understand from subsequent research that it was a recognised abbreviation, although not a popular one - there were over 30 other acronyms with those particular letters!
So what was this intriguing but oh-so-dangerous threat?
- Optical Parametric Oscillators?
- Organ Procurement Organisations?
- Orbiter Project Offices?
Other People's Opinions!
I used to love listening to this sort of thing. Phone-in programmes on the radio, vox pop interviews on the TV. I've consciously and severely reduced my intake of 'public opinion' in my life - because the one thing I needed to focus on was what I thought rather than what other people thought...
I can't cut it out completely. We are surrounded by other people's opinions all of the time - in fact, constantly bombarded with them. Reviews, political commentaries, disparate points of view. And don't get me wrong - each can be useful in getting an idea of what others think. But it's still vitally important to make up your own mind.
To have an opinion of your own.
Don't just believe what people tell you. Test it for yourself.
Experience it, prove it in your own life. Put it into practice.
Did you hear that review for that new TV series? Yep, they said it was rubbish. However, don't let that sway you, why not watch it for yourself...
Don't just take the easy route out, and follow popular opinion, "what the papers say" - think it through, apply it. Yes, you may well come to the same conclusion - however, you might not, you may end up with a completely contrary view.
And while we are on the subject - the same thing applies to my own life, and to those of my family. I am absolutely thrilled that the way we live our lives is of such interest to others. And if those others wish to impart on us some wisdom or otherwise useful information - or even help us a little - that's great. However, if these others are just criticising to give themselves the moral high ground - shame... shame on you.
"A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows the public opinion." - Chinese proverb
"You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant." - Harlan Ellison