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Day 40: You Don’t Have To Have An Opinion

“We have the power to hold no opinion about a thing and to not let it upset our state of mind for things have no natural power to shape our judgments.”

– Marcus Aurelius

I am sure if you look around yourself, you will find many people who discuss daily news whether it is politics, sports, or any other event happening in their country or some other remote part of the world with such seriousness. They often get angry, sad, or happy about it, going through a whole range of emotions. It might be the case that you are one of them then this post is for you.

I think as part of our growing up it has well ingrained in us that one must be informed to be a responsible citizen and hence we make it a point to keep us informed. But, have you ever stopped to wonder that how is having an opinion about anything and everything is affecting you. Read this post where I have talked more about why You don’t have to stay on top of everything.

But is it possible to not have an opinion about anything? In the book, Ryan Holiday has pointed out an interesting exercise:

Think about all the upsetting things you don’t know about—stuff people might have said about you behind your back, mistakes you might have made that never came to your attention, things you dropped or lost without even realizing it. What’s your reaction? You don’t have one because you don’t know about it.

Now, I am not saying that one is not entitled to their own opinion. Everyone is, just that you need not have an opinion about everything. In this current information age, there is already too much clutter inside our heads. Information is coming at us from every direction whether we want to know it or not. Everything is at our fingertips and even though we are not actively tracking or following it, but we will still be informed about it through various app notifications or just scrolling through your feed on social media.

So, let’s not try to clutter our brains by adding more information and opinions deliberately. Let’s keep it open for other constructive ideas to flow in. Let’s not get aggravated about things that are not that much influence to you. Let’s not have opinions for the sake of having opinions.

Published inPhilosophy & IdeasStoicism

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