A World of Opinions and No Perspectives
What ever happened to the good old days when columnists wrote perspectives? Perspective pieces are conscience observations of issues or events as they appear to us based on our own experience and point of view. Opinions tend to be (and generally are) an initial emotional response to specific issues or events. From my perspective, opinions are destroying our society in a number of ways. Opinions offer nothing but an argument or a stance and have no consideration for opposing thought. On the other hand, perspective cannot be argued….only discussed. True perspective simply offers an individual’s point of view and welcomes discussion. Discussion/communication lead to understanding. Understanding leads to respect. In the end, respect and understanding allow us to find compromise. It sounds so simple that it blows my mind that the “great minds” of our world who are responsible for so much in our society can’t figure it out. Their opinions, selfishness and childish stubbornness are destroying the foundations upon which we have been able to accomplish so much and their behavior does more to further divide a society of diverse individuals.
Like anything in our world, we (people in general) need someone to blame for this madness and mindlessness. The finger always has to point somewhere, right? In this case, it’s our own fault. A few weeks ago, after his post game interview blowup on FOX, I wrote a perspective piece on Richard Sherman. I waited a few days after the game because my initial thoughts about the situation weren’t exactly rational. I literally looked at Richard Sherman like he wasn’t even human and wanted nothing but to see him fail. Because, in my opinion, he deserved it. Once I took the time to step back and reflect, I realized that I pitied Sherman more than anything. His selfishness exposed a deeper insecurity and an emptiness to me. He certainly isn’t a thug. He’s just completely wrapped up in his own world and sadly requires validation and recognition from and bunch of strangers. That’s sad to me and that was my true perspective. After posting that thought, I received two emails from a couple of friends and a tweet from a total stranger. All three of them told me the same thing. They said I was a little late to the game with this one as the game took place three days prior to the post. Because of twitter, online bloggers and even some of the major sports news outlets (one of which I work for), we have grown to rely too heavily on opinions as we lack the patience to hear, process, comprehend and develop our own perspective. We all deserve so much better than that because not only are we getting dumber and dumber every day, we are truly less and less (factually) informed.
My challenge is simple. Have the patience, the open-mindedness and self-respect to avoid getting tied up in social, political and personal opinions. Avoid the emotional reaction and bring a little perspective to the world. Your perspective can serve those around you while your senseless and irrational opinions can destroy those around you and create divide. For those of you who actually read what I write, I hope you’re not looking for strong opinions because you won’t find them here. I sincerely welcome any and all perspective on anything I write and truly appreciate the thought, consideration and vulnerability it takes to share something deeper than a surface level opinion. Our perspectives can help one another grow and develop and it allows us to understand and empathize with those who have a differing perspective. Just because we may view the world differently doesn’t mean we all have to hate each other. We’re all in this world together whether we like it or not.
Forever grateful for what’s ahead…