Am I A Hypocrite?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been open to opposing ideas. So much so that even during arguments I’ve found myself both agreeing with my position alongside the other persons. Previously, I viewed this as contradictory. That because I didn’t conform to one idea, I must have been a hypocrite or someone whose judgement was unsubstantiated. Yet, when I stumbled upon the following quote by Charlie Munger, I instead came to view what most would call hypocritical as instead being a positive thing.
I never allow myself to have an opinion on anything that I don’t know the other side’s argument better than they do. — Charlie Munger
As the adage goes — "Opinions are like assholes everyone has one, but they usually stink". An adage that’s usually touted by a person when they find someone disagreeing with them. However, I urge you to view this adage differently, instead seeing that most opinions stink because many don’t do the work required to form one. Which, as Charlie Munger has touched upon, is knowing the other side's argument better than they do. When it comes to opinions, the issue of conflicting perspectives is present in every aspect of life. You’ll always find someone who doesn’t agree with your decisions or beliefs. So, where does that leave us? Seeing that we’re not going to have a universal opinion on everything anytime soon, the next best step I believe is to be a non-discriminatory learner. Whereby one learns from a variety of quality sources and takes what they can from each of them. We take what we think is best for our situation and apply it to that area of our life. Then when we find an idea doesn’t suit us anymore, or when we acquire better information, we get rid of that idea and move forward with what works to take us to the next level.
You have to learn to change your mind when you're wrong. And I actively work at discarding beliefs. Most people try and cherish whatever idiotic notion they already have because they think if it's their notion, it must be good. — Charlie Munger
Contrary to popular belief, we don’t need an opinion on everything, that’s just our ego making us think we do. Instead, we should avoid forming opinions until we've done the work required to do so. In the meantime, we can say I don’t know, or I don’t have an opinion on it. Then we should go about studying opposing points of view, and should only form opinions once we've done that. And at that point, know that you don’t actually have to form an opinion, you can simply be neutral about the topic at hand. In saying this, I don't think we should censor ourselves, that we should avoid uncomfortable conversations or ignore important topics. However, we should be cautious in choosing the topics we form opinions on and even discuss with others. Instead of trying to have an opinion on everything, we should choose our battles carefully. Having an opinion on everything is not only exhausting, but it's also unnecessary. But hey, that's just my opinion!
Now, I want to hear from you! What's your opinion? Do you think this is a beneficial mindset to apply to your life? Let me know in the comments below or message me directly.
Love, Tahlia X