Two of my idols, Katherine Hepburn and Andy Rooney, have been so because of one simple fact: they spoke their minds and cared not if their opinions didn't sit well with others. Andy Rooney died yesterday at 92. He lived a good life, and as he said, got paid to give his opinions on television...it doesn't get much better than that (paraphrasing).
My previous blog post laments the fact that some folks in this town have chosen to 'unfriend' me (both literally, on FB, and actually, in person...socially). I can safely say that in each case, those people have made that choice based on the fact that I have expressed my opinions and those opinions did not sit well with them. Whether it was an opinion on a (public) blog post, an opinion about an action involving me, or an opinion about how someone 'treated me', in each case friendships cooled as a result of those expressed opinions.
So, in honor of my two idols, I will strive to come to terms with the fact that I will continue to express my opinions and those opinions will not always be received well. And that is okay. Because suppressing my opinions is suppressing my personality, and that wouldn't be healthy. Expressing my opinion doesn't mean that I'm right, and it doesn't mean I'm wrong. It means I'm processing a situation or event or an observance, and putting my thoughts 'out there'. I welcome discussion, disagreement, and discourse. Yes, I've had to learn (and am still learning) to phrase my opinion in a way that doesn't offend. But in many cases, opinions are taken more personally than is necessary, and that is something I and others need to be better at: hearing an opinion without getting so wrapped up in it that we get our feelings hurt and miss the lesson that can often be there. Yes, I'm on both sides of this and have a lot to learn from the opinions of others...and take the lesson away without taking it any more personally than the lesson requires.
(This blog post brought to you by my cup-of-coffee-induced stream of conscious thoughts...)