Saturday 2 February 2013

O - Opinion

I have a lot of opinions. Most people do; they fuel the furnace of passion that is humanity. I don’t have extensive criteria for people I can like, but opinions are way up on my list of essentials. What are we without our opinions? Who are we?

I don’t know where I’d be without my opinions. I’d probably still be watching Pokémon because I couldn’t have formulated the opinion that the new episodes suck. In fact, I wouldn’t even like Pokémon, or anything, because what we like is based on our opinion of it. Even in juvenile terms, whereby my brain liked the colours in Pokémon, and the different monsters, we do have opinions, and they drive us to do more than simply exist.

Without opinions, we couldn’t be human beings, because we would have nothing but our instinct to eat, grow, reproduce etc. We’d be nothing but a MRSFERG, the characteristics of a living thing, with no sense of actual being to differentiate us from the most basic organisms. Cats would be more advanced than us; because cats have opinions (trust me I live with two).

I don’t want to get too sciency, mostly because beyond the first year course, which I lapped up with puppy dog eagerness (the only thing I didn’t do the same with in first year was Irish, because I had already established my distaste for it), I have no qualifications to do so. I may know the first year course by heart, and most of the junior cert one, but that does not make me anything more than an amateur scientist. Without going so far as to make fun of the Junior Cert science course, I would have to describe it as rudimentary at best. I do have the qualifications to say that; seeing as upon being greeted with the fact that all pain comes from the brain, and not a specific part of your body, there were more than a few choruses of ‘say what?’ from my class.

In yet another seemingly vain attempt to get to the point, I don’t want to get too sciency because that is boring (to most people – I love it) and opinions are the furthest thing from boring. They are, simply put, humanity. If Shakespeare wasn’t of the opinion that his ramblings were worthy of the stage, than Junior Cert students would not be regaled, in far too much detail, of the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet (though I only view Romeo dying as a tragedy because I saw the version with Leonardo Di Caprio). If George Washington wasn’t of the opinion that the American Revolutionaries must “resolve to conquer or die”, we would not have the 50 United States of America.

If I didn’t think that opinions make us who and what we are, you wouldn’t be reading this. Opinions make history and opinions write history. Opinion is what made the Republic of Ireland, the Irish Free State, and OPEC. Move away from the political and you get Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Judaism. Opinion gave us equality for African-Americans, Democracy, Dictatorship, Capitalism, Communism, Fascism, Feminism and all the ‘isms’ in between.

Opinion is not an inherently good thing. Opinion led to horrors too; the genocide, rape camps, the purges, terrorism, the Klan. Something like opinion is so individual that it can never be used solely for good, because people are not always good.

Without opinion we would be nothing. We would never have built our great civilisations, economies, works of art and literature, our music, languages. If the French didn’t love their language they wouldn’t have tried to make a French word for e-mail, but they do, so they did (even if no-one bothers to use it).

I have opinions and they are what make me who I am. Without opinions I couldn’t write, there would be nothing to read; in short the world would be a horrible place. Opinions are my furnace, my burning passion.

Opinion is everything I love, everyone I love, everything to befall the race that I belong to, the good and the bad. I can’t promise that opinion is good, but I can show you what we are without it; nothing at all.

©EmmaTobin 2013

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