As a filmmaker and writer, I continually share my work, which has led me to think a lot about opinions lately.
First, an opinion is subjective and not necessarily based on fact or knowledge. Your opinion is just that: yours. Despite our “Me” culture, I believe a personal opinion can, in fact, be wrong, calling for a healthy dose of modesty and open-mindedness. Too often it’s the opposite: people hold opinions as absolute fact, which thwarts constructive and positive development – including the opinion holder’s!
Second, and more important, when your opinion is sought after, you are placed in a position of power. The seeker has ultimately entrusted you with their vulnerability. So how you go about expressing your opinion is an ethical choice. You can be gracious or mean. You can be constructive or destructive. You can be silent or aloof.
Perhaps all this doesn’t matter when expressing our opinion about a Big Mac or the Los Angeles Dodgers; but, it certainly matters when eating a homemade pie or gazing at a painting. The distinction here is between consumption and relationship. A consumer is not called to make an ethical choice, rather they merely seek to fill an egocentric desire; on the flip side, I like to think relationships transcend the ego, which calls for great responsibility.