Opinionism and Stupidism

Here are two "belief systems," Opinionism and Stupidism, that will not be found in any dictionary. I've defined these as belief systems out of seven decades of observation of humanity.

It seems to me (my opinion) that there are two kinds of opinionism that are bad: First of all, the belief that my opinion is the only one of any validity and everyone else is an idiot. The second kind of opinionism that is bad is the kind that thinks everyone else's opinion is better than mine.

If you think you always have the right opinion and everyone else is wrong, well, I hate to tell you this, but you're just plain wrong. And if you think that everyone in the room is smarter than you and that your opinions are not even worth sharing, you're wrong again.

Fact is, sometimes, we're right, and sometimes we're wrong, and wisdom is the ability to recognize the difference. But to continually surrender your opinion to other people's views, or to always insist that your idea is ALWAYS right is wrong in either instance.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember about opinions is that opinions are not facts – that's what makes them opinions. Just because you think the earth is flat doesn't make it so.
An example of this is the "science" of the age of the earth. No matter how smart or well educated they may be, no scientist or theologian knows when the earth was created. The National Geographic Society says, "The earth is estimated to be 4.54 billion years old, plus or minus about 50 million years." The words "estimated" and "plus or minus" make obvious they have an opinion about the earth's age.

Beware of people who claim, "The science is clear on this or that issue." Make sure it's not an estimate or a guess based on available data. Remember, scientists once thought the earth was flat. Others once thought the “scientific” way to rid the body of disease was to "bleed" the patient and drain out the bad blood.

Stupid-ism is another of my invented "belief systems." This is the belief that you continually make bad choices and can't do anything about it.

Here is someone who wrote on Yahoo.com and suffers from stupidism. She wrote, "I'm so slow I'm beginning to think I might have some mild mental retardation or something. I'm more than just slow. Just this morning, I turned on the faucet and almost got shocked to death by a hairdryer. Why am I so stupid? Maybe I should quit Community College. I'm too stupid. Any thoughts on yow to make myself smarter?" Then, to give further evidence of her stupidity, she posted a photo of herself and asked, "Do I look retarded in my photo."

This poor lady suffers from a belief system that she is stuck on stupid and can't do anything about it. She thought she could help herself by proclaiming her stupidity to the whole world! And that, my friends, is the epitome of stupidism.

Please, don't get stuck on stupid; step away from stupid so you do not become a slave of your own self-defeating thoughts, words, and deeds. It was John Wayne who is credited with saying, "Life's tough, pilgrim, and it's even tougher if you're stupid."

Both opinionism and stupidism hold you back. Be open to new ideas and seek the wisdom of others to help you forge a meaningful life. No matter how many dim-witted mistakes you've made (everyone has made their share), you can grow socially, intellectually, and spiritually. With a little effort, you can foster intelligence and common sense and become the special person God has designed you to be.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Ron Ross is an author, publisher, and award-winning speaker who lives in Loveland, Colorado