An Opinion

Dear Adeline,

You have opinions. They are urgent, forceful and undiscriminating. You are an equal opportunity, unsolicited opinion-giver. We will work on your tact, but for now it’s exactly how I want you.

This is probably an unhealthy reaction to my childhood. You may not know this about me, but I grew up thinking opinions were terrible. They were to be stamped out, not nurtured and guided.

As such, I suck at expressing them right now – just like you!

To the powers that be, and I grew up around a gaggle of ‘powers that were,’ opinions are scary things. They can bely a critical mind that is difficult to manipulate. To an insecure boss, cult leader, politician or power-tripping pastor a dissenting opinion is most certainly not the bees knees.

Adeline, you are allowed to have an opinion. In fact, it’s even ok to have a dumb opinion. One step further, it’s perfectly fine to express your dumb opinions. Don’t seal them in your underground panic room. Let them breathe – the stupid ones will burn up in the sun and the good ones will flourish.

If you want people to respect your opinions, however, that’s an entirely different matter. To achieve this, you need to work. You will need to study and grind. You will need to ask questions. You must open your mind and listen. Listen with the intent to understand, not to re-assert your opinion. In short, you need to build a foundation on which your opinions can rest.

Do this, and you have something powerful. You will truly be a force that is not easily manipulated. No cult leader will ever be able to wrap you up into her web of deceptions.

And that’s my opinion.

Love Dad


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