Opinions are nothing to get upset about

Thomas Hummer

In February, a friend of mine and I started a website, Velocities In Music, where we video-record us reviewing albums. Since then, we’ve reviewed more than 200 albums and have received a considerable amount of both praise and hostility for our opinions on various music.

In dealing with those who are appalled and offended when we despise an album that they enjoy, I have to constantly remind them of the following: “Us not liking this album shouldn’t impede your ability to enjoy it at all.”

I also have to remind them that we’re not necessarily trying to make people agree with our opinions. We’re trying to get them to see things in a way they previously might not have, and with that information they can choose to keep their original viewpoint or adapt it as they see fit. Even if we help them change their mind in a way that doesn’t line up with our views, at least we’re making a difference. Still, people get offended, and I can’t understand why.

After all, music is a pretty silly thing to get actively upset about. But isn’t it equally ridiculous to get angry about someone’s differing religious or political views, or really their opinions on just about anything? These are the kinds of things that opinion writers have to put up with all the time.

Not long ago, fellow columnist RJ Green got lots of opposition regarding a column or two that he wrote about sex, largely because of the way it represented women. While I thought that a majority of the complaints were overreactions, at least the way our culture represents women is a legitimate concern, because it can directly affect the way we view and treat half of the people on this planet. So while I respectfully disagree with those who were offended, at least they had somewhat of a right to be upset.

But this doesn’t explain why people get so worked up about issues that are individual concerns, or beliefs that affect nobody beyond those who hold them. These things include politics, religion, and taste in music, movies, television, etc. While politics, for example, affects everybody, it’s also something that is fought out in the voting booths. It’s already understood that people are going to have differing opinions on it — that’s the reason it exists. So what’s the point of hostility?

People getting upset and angry about someone else’s opinion on issues such as these is ridiculous and pathetic. What is there to be threatened by about another’s viewpoint? The only possible thing is if you are afraid that they might actually be right and you might be wrong, but then you’re forgetting the fact that they’re opinions. Such animosity regarding somebody’s beliefs only exposes your insecurity toward your own belief, which proves it must not have been very strong in the first place.

So next time you feel your pulse skyrocket and your blood boiling because somebody is expressing a view you don’t agree with, step outside yourself and look at why you’re having such a reaction. The reason people share their opinions is because it expands the understanding of the population and gets you to see things from a different point of view.

However, this process is impossible when irrational, ignorant emotions take control of the situation. There is absolutely nothing dangerous or detrimental about other opinions, unless you’re afraid of discovering you don’t really have any reason to believe what you do.