Your opinion is worth nothing

 … Unless you’re willing to fight for it.

Everyone has myriad opinions, to which we assign various weights by importance and conviction. For instance, my opinion that birth control is a good investment is something I weigh heavily; my opinion that peaches are gross is weighed significantly less.

But your opinion has absolutely no worth to others unless you can actually back it up. While that importance and conviction is key to you, no one else will see that. No one else will care. No one else will assign similar values unless you can and will give evidence to support your side.

Every time someone says “it’s just my opinion; you can have your own”, I wonder why they cared enough to express their opinion in the first place. [Side-note: Does it generally just boil down to vanity? It seems so to me, but I’d welcome other thoughts here.] In America the prevailing belief that all speech is good speech, and that everyone is free to express themselves, has led us to a place where we accept “alternative facts” and to treat opinions as immutable, irrefutable facts.

Let me be clear: You have the right to say anything you want (with the obvious exceptions). The corollary is that everyone else has the right to think you’re a fool. If you want to share your opinion and want others to hold the same, have a spine. Make your point, defend it, change your mind if/when the evidence warrants it, and above all else: care.

Care. Care until you can’t possibly care any more. It doesn’t matter if you’re discussing which of the Star Wars movies is the best (5. It’s 5.), religion, abortion, or anything else. Care enough about it to stand by your opinion. Care enough to discuss your opinion, not just vomit it into the comments section of your friends’ Facebook pages and use “it’s my opinion” as a get out of jail free card.

 
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