To Whom It May Concern,
People complain about others being “politically correct” or “opinionated.” These aren’t bad things. They shouldn’t be discouraged.
By definition, here’s what they really mean according to merriam-webster.
Politically Correct: “agreeing with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people.”
Opinionated: “expressing strong beliefs or judgments about something : having or showing strong opinions.”
Oh the horror.
The argument against these being positives in society seem to be that there’s too much of a good thing.
People are being too careful about not trying to offend others. So really, the issue is that people haven’t found a balance to offending others without censoring themselves and affecting free speech. And since this is a terrible inconvenience, apparently, we should lament considering the feelings and rights of others because it can hinder our ability to consider our own feelings and rights… even when it could be to avoid making sexist, rude remarks and jokes. We should have the freedom to tell any joke and then apologize later rather than simply not saying it in the first place because it could offend?
But people take it too far, of course. Then you can’t tell any jokes.
Or we could just try harder not to offend others, to be aware of what is considered offensive, to be respectful of others. It’ll take effort, but we can be politically correct without destroying the world.
And watch out for those opinionated people who have an opinion on everything. It’s a true terror for someone to have “a belief, judgment, or way of thinking about something.” May we be saved from the thinkers of the world.
Now it’s true not all opinions are based on facts or actual evidence. Some can be remarkably biased. It’s also true that those with opinions can be stubborn, uninformed and arrogant, convinced their opinion is so true that no evidence can disprove it. But here’s the kicker: that’s not being opinionated. That’s being foolish.
Having opinions is a good thing and should be encouraged because, believe it or not, a lot of people do have opinions and they should be shared. Discussion is important. It can alter opinions, share facts, and allow people to connect and grow. It shows different perspectives. However, all to often, we curse those who are “opinionated” and stop discussion before it starts.
“What do you think about this?”
“Oh, I don’t know.”
Too often the person does know what they think on the matter, but end up afraid of sharing. Yes, the opinion could be factually-inaccurate, but that doesn’t mean it should stay bottled up. How will it be corrected? How will it affect the thoughts of others? Because it could be right. It could be a wonderful and beautiful opinion that puts an issue into a new and precisely accurate perspective. And instead, a person will keep it inside because it’s somehow not good to have opinions.
It’s fine to be opinionated. The catch is that one has to be receptive to other opinions and willing to change their own if need be. It’s okay to think pineapple is gross, but it’s important to accept that it’s not gross to everyone.
Here’s looking forward to more politically correct, opinionated people.