The past week has been a whirlwind of controversial issues. Paula Deen using an extremely insensitive word and the commercial fallout that resulted, the Supreme Court’s ruling regarding same sex marriage, the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin court proceedings, and a host of other events have sparked conversations everywhere. Everyone seems to be voicing their opinion on these polarizing issues. In light of all if this, I must confess something to you. It may seem contradictory coming from an “opinion writer,” but I don’t actually like voicing my opinions.
Let me explain. I almost never interject myself into discussions on controversial issues. I prefer not to openly take a stance on an issue that could raise eyebrows among my friends or peers. I may feel strongly on an issue and even say so among my close friends, but I almost never voice such on record — be it print or on social media.
The fear of unintentionally offending a friend or having a past statement be brought up later to my own derision keeps me quiet. Opinions are shaped by the experiences and people we encounter, molding how we view the world around us. My opinions, as a 24-year-old law student might change completely once I don the hat of a 40-something working mother. If I voice a strong opinion now, will I later have to eat my own words? How important is it to voice your own opinions? If you feel strongly should you not be able to be express it publicly? Is there a time and place for everything, including opinions? Should you carefully evaluate each statement for its appropriateness?
When I hear or read someone’s opinion, even one that I disagree with, I often think, “Wow, I really admire you for having the courage to say that.” On the contrary, I sometimes hear or read someone’s opinion, even one that I agree with, and think, “Wow, I can’t believe you actually said that.” Why are some opinions okay but others not? This longwinded internal debate is probably why my last Facebook status was about selling BBQ tickets for my sorority, in 2008.
I’m sure you’ve formed a strong opinion of me for dragging out my non-conclusive conclusion on the subject, so I’ll get to the point. “Pee or get off the pot” as my eloquent father always says.
Well here it goes; as far as an opinion on opinions, this opinion writer has yet to form one. Cheers!
Anna Rush is a law student from Hattiesburg. She graduated from Mississippi State University in 2011. Follow her on Twitter @annakrush.