We live in a world where it seems like every Tom, Dick and Harry has an opinion. I suppose one of the triggers of this, is the fact that, the more advanced society becomes through technology and access to information at our finger tips, the more power lies in the hands of the majority. This is even more evident in this Knowledge Revolution/Era. If you look at social media, if something happens in the world people will start voicing what they think about it. ‘Everyone’ seems to have an opinion about Trump, Jacob Zuma, Mugabe. ‘Everyone’ seems to have an opinion about Africa, about China and about where the world is going in 2030.
At work, at gatherings with friends, and other events with people, you will always find people engaging in broadcasting their opinions about various matters.
I find that opinions can sometimes be overwhelming because, they are not always transformative. Sometimes they seem like “just words in the air” with no real power to make our world better in any way. It is also important to acknowledge that we live in a period where most nations encourage freedom of speech and it has become a part and parcel of people’s democratic human right. I am by no means against freedom of speech and it’s good that people are encouraged to engage in it, but of late I’ve been going through this journey of saying to myself, ‘I want to withdraw from this pressure of always giving opinions. I want to be deep in thought and think things through and in matters where I am not an expert, I want to be able to say I don’t have a comment. In matters where I am an expert, only if what I say will build and it has an action component, then I will open my mouth and give an opinion.’
I find that, what makes opinions powerful is when they have ‘hands and feet’. This means that they can be translated into something more meaningful. So, if I’m unhappy about a situation, the question I should ask is- ‘what can I do?’ in the spaces that I find myself in and where I can influence change, instead of only uttering words of discontent. I want to shift my focus and look at tools, skills, resources, etc. that I can use to influence change so that the opinion becomes something that ‘walks’ and moves beyond the sphere of words.