What are Opinions?
Here’s what Google has –
a view or judgement formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.
A human brain is designed to analyze information. The way it naturally works is –
1. Analyzing a situation
2. Creating a crude problem statement which forms an opinion
3. Then either finding a solution if it’s of any harm to the body or the surroundings or leaving the situation at that if it’s harmless
4. Come to a conclusion together with learnings.
If you see, the process is seldom completed. Our attitude is way too casual and as a general nature, we tend to jump on to conclusions without thorough analysis.
That’s how we have lived our life so far and it includes not having to find a solution for everything we deal with. Guess that’s our comfort of choosing the option to say – “Hey, lemme fix that” or “This doesn’t concern me, screw it”. Whichever option we choose, we know, the world will move on!
I’m writing this post for something happened to me a couple of days back which is starting to haunt me and I probably have no cure for it except to admit my mistake and try to forget it. I was returning from a juice parlor when two guys seated at the pavement of a small nearby under-construction shopping complex approached me – “Bhai saab! Aap iss bachche ko jaante hain?” (Hi Brother! Do you know this kid?) pointing at a kid seated alone at the stairs. I looked at the kid and said – “No”. The first thought in my head was about my upset stomach and how I needed to rest a bit when I took a look at the two men who were trying to cajole some information out of that kid but had quite obviously failed. They looked helpless. The kid looked in a dire shock. He looked scared not from the sense of getting lost but from the probable beating he would receive at the hands of his parents who he thought would fail to see how it was their fault to leave him alone in the first place. I saw so much of me in that kid. A frightened look not from the sense of the situation but the consequence and the ensuing pain.
Strangely though, as I moved on, my feet kept stopping to let me have another look at the kid. But I didn’t. The brain and heart were fighting for I’d been in this situation before and had somehow landed on the wrong side of human nature making an absolute fool of myself. I won’t do it again. Although it didn’t seem like any trickery but I just wouldn’t take the chance. I was weak.
I got to know a lot about myself as I walked away. And some more posts may follow about them. But this one remains about opinions and conclusions.
Now coming to conclusions – what’s a conclusion?
Google says –
a judgment or decision reached by reasoning.
Although what I did, made me come across, as a merciless man with a cavalier and borderline careless attitude but how I acted was actually based on a general opinion I had created from past experiences. It’s important to learn from all your mistakes. But then – there are always “what ifs?” What if the child was actually lost and I may have helped him better than those 2 men? Or what if the scenario was a trap to make me cough up some money from somewhere? What if my progressive year, that it’s been, draws a blot? What if walking away itself is a blot?
It’s just too difficult to know what may have happened to the kid and I’ll try to figure it out by asking the guys at the street again but I may never know the truth and I’ll have to live with the consequences of my actions.
So what about opinions and conclusions? My opinion about those kind of situations led me into acting like a jerk when I clearly could have done more. Not all opinions are farce. They just may have not been proven even once when they may have been drawn from years of experience for you never actually learn till you have faced the consequences. Facing the consequences makes your conclusion solid and when you face the same situation again in your life, you act on your conclusions and not your opinions.
When people say – “Your Opinion Matters”, I beg to differ. I say – “Your opinions are welcome but won’t necessarily be worked upon for we don’t know the level of jerk that you are or have been or you may even not be”.