Forming Conclusive Opinions

A wise friend once told me, it is not necessary to form opinions about everything. A matter can be left open if there is no sufficient evidence in favor of any one opinion.

I used to have lots of conclusive opinions, just about everything I had encountered in life. Slowly, I started to see the wisdom in keeping the matters open and entertaining a certain amount of doubt in my mind. Since then, I look back every 3 years at my previous self, and find a fool with definitive opinions, a very limited knowledge and a lot of assumptions.

Be it politics, sports, religion or even certain human interactions, there are so many visible and hidden factors governing these issues that it is difficult to comprehend the involved complexities beyond a specific level. In all these areas, we form opinions quickly based on our limited knowledge and spend the rest of our lives defending them.

That reminds me of the following quote by comedian Danny Kaye:

Her favorite position is beside herself, and her favorite sport is jumping to conclusions.

And another by Bertrand Russell:

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wise people so full of doubts.

Forming opinions about less number of issues and have an open mind towards the rest not only saves the world from another fool but gifts an incredible peace of mind to the individual herself.

So next time, when you are about to prove yourself right in a discussion on a real or social network, wait for a minute and think. Will the discussion help you, or others, in achieving their goals? Forget about the other person’s motives, are you in it to boost your ego or learn something?

If the answer is no, remember that the world is not going to switch to your side anytime soon anyway. Make peace with it.

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