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One week teaches us much if we care to reflect and observe. God had this sort of conversation with me recently: “Watch and learn about how your opinion polarises or changes – see how fickle it is – watch and learn about others’ opinions – watch and learn, thirdly, about the ruin opinion brings.”

Opinion brings ruin.

Time often tells if our opinions have validity or not. Rarely do we have such a grasp on reason to have something of value to offer. That usually takes the time of analysis, which is never arrived at in the moment. Yet so rarely do we commit such effort to making a fair analysis of our or others’ opinions.

If our view could ever be considered a right, then we would have to agree that others have that same right. What goes with that is a respect to hear divergent views. Rarely do any of us enjoy others sharing their conflicting views without us wanting to interrupt and ‘correct’ them.

Opinion is a privilege, not a right, but unfortunately, we live in an age where everyone has broadcast capacity. Our age mobilises thought instantly, and there’s no time made for reflection, let alone listening to another’s opinion with an obliging heart.

I say opinion is a privilege because our opinions have power. They have incredible power to upset people. Rarely are opinions used to vouch for another’s good in a way that promotes peace. More often, opinions add fuel to an already stoked fire.

All opinions – no matter how right or wrong they are – can be expressed in such a way as to be wrong or right. If they’re not shared respectfully or they’re not treated with respect, conflict breaks out. Name-calling ensues, with emojis, and worse, trolling. Being right or wrong can be very well beside the point. It takes much wisdom to correctly communicate opinion, but even this statement is an opinion.