An Opinion on Opinions

“There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification…How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying… If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” –  I Corinthians 14

“We should remember that the world is wide; that there are a thousand million different human wills, opinions, ambitions, tastes, and loves; that each person has a different history, constitution, culture, character, from all the rest; that human life is the work, the play, the ceaseless action and reaction upon each other of these different atoms. Then, we should go forth into life with the smallest expectations, but with the largest patience; with a keen relish for and appreciation of everything beautiful, great, and good, but with a temper so genial that the friction of the world shall not wear upon our sensibilities; with an equanimity so settled that no passing breath nor accidental disturbance shall agitate or ruffle it; with a charity broad enough to cover the whole world’s evil, and sweet enough to neutralize what is bitter in it, – determined not to be offended when no wrong is meant nor even when it is, unless the offense be against God.” – from Prose Works by Mary Baker Eddy

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Opinions. I have them. You have them. The news media has them. The world is filled with them. Sometimes we’re kind of proud of them. Sometimes we walk around all puffed-up about how courageous we are to share them with anyone who will listen (and even with those who won’t). And sometimes we might be inclined to think that if we voice our opinions enough times, they will – poof! – become facts. 🙂

But, sadly, no matter how many times we share our opinions they will remain what they are: opinions. I know. It’s kind of lowering, ain’t it?

When I was a little girl there were some really great news anchors on television – Walter Cronkite, Edward Murrow – these guys had class. You rarely saw them laughing or chatting, or bringing their personalities or opinions to the news. They presented the facts, and let their audience come to their own conclusions about things. They were calm, stable presences on the airwaves. They weren’t timid about questioning authority. Nor were they afraid of exposing evil.

Four principles Edward R. Murrow used in reporting the news were” skepticism, honor, honesty, and courage.”  (http://news.wsu.edu/pages/Publications.asp?Action=Detail&PublicationID=31626&PageID=21) And, it is my opinion, that if we all sought to bring these four principles into our own lives, the world would be a more genial place. in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Eddy writes: “It requires courage to utter truth; for the higher Truth lifts her voice, the louder will error scream, until its inarticulate sound is forever silenced in oblivion.” I think we see a nice example of truth lifting “her voice” in Murrow’s reporting of the McCarthy Hearings in the 1950’s (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4LZsDqSSfk).

In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures Mary Baker Eddy writes: “In Christian Science mere opinion is valueless. Proof is essential to a due estimate of this subject.” I think in most things, “mere opinion is valueless.” Which. Yeah, I guess that’s just my opinion, though. 🙂