Some people have them some people don't. I am the former. Well, which is right? Now this is another of those questions that don't have an answer. There have been plenty of instances where I have been severely criticized for having one. I know of friends who are forbidden from having opinions let alone voicing them only because they are girl children while their male siblings have a say in matters.
There was a friendly neighbour back home in Kerala who came home on a Sunday morning and was talking to dad and me. As my dad was on the look out for a groom for my sister, he turned towards me and asked what kind of a guy we were looking out for. Since he had majorly aimed the question at me and my dad was waiting for my answer too; also for the fact that I was clear about it, I told him what I thought... not from dad's point of view but mine... that my sister had spent enough time outside India that she wouldn't want to find a guy who lives abroad especially in places like USA or Canada where her visits would get rather infrequent and her settling there would be almost certain. That she wants to stay closer home and spend time with all of us. Also, mom and dad could easily be with her whenever they pleased. Dad said the few things he was particular about too. In the evening my uncle came home and told me that the neighbour had gone to him after our conversation and told my uncle that I actually decided things being a girl of twenty. That he couldn't see why I should 'go around' talking to elders about 'such major decisions.' So my uncle told me that though we were all used to having an opinion and expressing it at home, it wasn't welcome amongst many people in the society and said it is better not to bother talking to them about anything serious.
I was shocked at such a reaction. I was always used to expressing my opinion when asked or when we had a discussion. This neighbour asked me what I thought about it. This was a very personal thing. I spoke my feelings as a sibling and exactly what my sister had in mind too. When I mentioned this episode to mom, she scoffed at the reaction and said. 'You very well have the right to say what you felt in this case and you were right.' But ever since that day I have been very careful while talking to people from my hometown. Not that I'm worried about what they think about me but that I needn't waste my energy talking to them about it.
Again yesterday I had a discussion with an aunt of mine. She and I differed in something quite a bit. I found her attitude hard to accept. When I spoke about it to a cousin the response I got was, 'Why do you always have an opinion? And why in the world do you have to go around telling it to people or trying to convince them?' Well, I don't if I feel they aren't worth it or wouldn't even give an ear to it. But yes, I agree. I do persist with my arguments. Do I believe I'm right? Yes ofcourse, why would I say it if I didn't think so. Do I feel they should agree with me? Well, much as I would like it so, I know for one that most of the times that wouldn't happen. I would be happy if they listened to what I said and would be overjoyed if they thought about it if only for once.
To be honest this is one of the things that freak me out when I think of marriage. I can't always say what I please. My opinions may not be welcome. What happens if I do say something that the others don't agree to? I need to learn to think and talk. At times I just need to shut up! But then that wouldn't be me.
But I have always pitied people who don't have opinions. 'Why don't they think, mom? It needn't be right but shouldn't they be able to think for themselves? One must always take advices from others but he should know to think independent of it too.' Maybe it is their circumstances. Maybe they have never been used to it. Maybe they weren't taken. Maybe it would only add to their problems. In any case, I'm being biased against them for thinking so.
I am envious of people who speak exactly what they are supposed to or express their views without getting excited. I raise my volume (as though the normal level isn't loud enough), speak slowly (DANGER), emphasize on some phrases and sound like I'm defending myself from a death sentence; I get deeply involved. I say its the conviction with which I talk. People would take it as arrogance. I love people who know when to have an opinion and know how and when to talk about it. Speaks volumes about their character.
Someday I say... Someday....
P.S.: I just noticed that I have an entire label called 'Opinions'
God help me! Or more importantly, God help those who disagree with me.