Your Opinions or….?

“Anyone who holds a true opinion without understanding is like a blind man on the right road.” -Plato, The Republic

James Patterson wrote an article in TIME as part of a series dealing with different campaign issues and opinions from this year’s election. The article, entitled “The Literacy of Long-Form Thinking,” begins by pointing out how the ancient Romans thought it was better to ‘know nothing about a subject than to half-know it.’ Patterson then goes on to question whether this is actually a good way to embrace knowledge, to which I can’t help but to agree.

It seems almost ironic as I was reading an article dealing with modern society’s tendency to only address thoughts for mere minutes before becoming distracted that I found myself distracted. As I realized and redirected my focus back onto the article, Peterson’s words resonated truth as he described modern society as “a nation of distracted nincompoops who don’t have the patience to bother finding out if lies are lies… because [they] have lost the mental capacity to do otherwise.” I had to stop and think about how brutally honest those words were.

A friend once pointed out a scenario to me. “Vic, think of that time you had a thought, which was probably wrong. For example, the world is flat. Okay, now you’ve mulled it over before talking about it with another friend who, in turn, believes the same thought. Because now you have someone else agreeing with you on your opinion, giving you a sense of approval, you’re more susceptible to believe that your opinion is fact as opposed to opinion.” Instead of seeking accuracy in facts, it seems that we’ve blurred what is truth and what is opinion. Not only that, but it seems that we’re so consumed in the rhythm of society and fitting the mold surrounding us, seeking approval from others, that we fail to form our own opinions.

And this is what I’ve come to realize: it’s time to think, to question facts, and, most importantly, to listen to the opinions you hear from others. Without these opinions, you wouldn’t have the opportunity to question and to learn.