Cats or dogs?
Yankees or Mets?
Do you like "Harry Potter?"
What do you think about Hillary?
What's your favorite Johnny Depp movie?
What do you think about gay marriage?
Do you like sugar in your coffee?
Does my hair look better up or down?
Well, I do. You do, too. We all do. We care about people's opinions because we care about people. More than that, we want to form our own opinions of people based on their opinions.
We always judge people based on their opinions, yet we're adamant in not being judged by our own.
"It's my opinion, and I'm allowed to have whatever opinion I want." Well, I'm here to tell you something.
Your opinion is wrong.
Opinions are, by definition, subjective. There is no way to say your opinion is more right than another's (Disclaimer: If your opinion is racist, homophobic, sexist, aimed at denying someone their rights, discriminatory, or physically or emotionally harmful in any way, I'm not talking to you. That's a judgment, not an opinion). It's stimulating to argue over opinions; Socratic method and all that. However, it's not good to become overwhelmingly preoccupied with someone else's opinions on something. If someone rubs you the wrong way because of his or her opinions, move along. Don't be bothered. I have a friend who, when encountered with an idea, quote, beverage, activity, or opinion that she doesn't enjoy, just says "I don't like it," nice and quick, and we all accept it and move along. Take others' opinions with a grain of salt, and don't make excuses for your own.
Each day, we see new things, have new conversations, watch videos, read articles, and gather information. Our opinions are changing every moment. If you have the exact same political views you had in middle school, you should probably reevaluate. If you eat the exact same foods, watch the same shows, and talk to the same people as you did in high school, I'm sorry to break it to you, but there's a good chance you're really boring.
At a young age, our parents' opinions are the right ones.
Then, it starts to become those of our friends, our teachers, and the media, and finally, it's a satisfying and healthy combination of the former and our own. Our opinions are compilations of what we've experienced mixed with our own judgments.
Opinions change, just as people change. Every time someone in a romcom sadly told their significant other or best friend "you've changed," it would make me so mad. Of course they did! People grow into what they are supposed to be. You were just there for one stop of the way. You helped them change like they were supposed to, but they need to move on and keep changing and keep becoming. You have to let people be who they're going to be.
Now, I need you to take that advice and apply it to yourself.
You are a constantly changing, evolving, developing work in progress. When someone or something enters your life, he, she, or it is going to rustle, shake, bump, push, pull, and mold you into tomorrow. You have to let yourself be who you're going to be.
Victor Hugo said this:
"Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots."
You're a tree. You'll always be a tree. After autumn passes, leaves fall, and others grow, and you're still the same tree to the outside. But you saw those leaves fall, you felt them fall, and you witnessed as spring came and you turned green. You must remember that you are always changing. You must remember that others can't see this, and they will often consider it a bad move on your part. You must do your best to remember this about other people.
Just because I believe my opinion, that doesn't mean I need to worry about you believing it too. My opinion doesn't hold much merit in the minds of others. Just because I believe my opinion, that doesn't mean I have always believed it. It especially doesn't mean I will believe it a year from now, a month from now, or a day from now. There's a good chance you'll look back on today and think, "Wow. My opinion on that was wrong."
All of our opinions are wrong to everyone except ourselves, just as all of our lives are wrong for everyone except ourselves. Try to remember that that's okay.