Opinion: Divergent opinions

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We all have our opinions. And in most cases, we are fully, entirely, completely, incontrovertibly and undeniably committed to them. Still, we have friends, neighbors, family members and every manner and sort of human with which we interact, even in times of quarantine. So, how can we hope to navigate a world filled with so very many opinions? And so very many of them likely don’t conform with our own.

No doubt, employers and customers can cause us to bend our wills a bit. But also, one can find conflict with those who work for us – tailors, contractors, mechanics and repair specialists come to mind.  Sure, they might form an opinion based upon experience. But shouldn’t we challenge them occasionally with our own view, if for no other reason than to consider diversity of thought? Plus, if we are paying, why can’t we have it our way?   

Any among us who has remodeled a house or altered a garment knows the peril of the encroaching expert opinion. One enters with a desired outcome. “I’d like the hem to fall here.”  Or, “I’d like the fixture to be mounted this low.” The service provider retorts, “Oh, you don’t want it like that – no one does.” Hmm. Well, at least one person did. They may be right. It may not be to local code. It may cause one to trip over the fabric. Alternatively, it may be personal preference. When does someone’s “professional” opinion simply become “their” opinion? Taste is predilection but not dispositive. Views are perspectives but not all-inclusive.

Frustrated, one might demand that others do what is asked, not what is preferred. But is forcing the hand of another, especially against their own opinion, ever a strategy of likely success? Can we accommodate for others and still get our way?


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