Your Opinion Does Count!

No, I’m not famous, and you probably aren’t either! It doesn’t matter. Your opinion is just as valuable as anyone else’s. You just can’t shout it in people’s faces, even if you are famous.

Due to the kind of writing I often undertake, I’ve become weary of plain “folks,” as well as so-called Internet gurus saying, “Nobody cares what you think! You’re not famous,” and “People only care about themselves.”

If you’re trying to sell something, you do need to put yourself in potential customers’ shoes first or they won’t listen to you or read what you write. But as far as opinions, my opinion is just as important as theirs, yours, or anyone else’s. If all I’m going to do is knowingly regurgitate what someone else has already spouted on a topic, there’s no point in being a writer. Anyone can be a copycat and pretend what they’re saying is original thought.

It doesn’t matter that you’re not famous. It doesn’t matter if you have a huge following, or a small list of groupies, or none at all. You’re entitled to your outlook on the world, even when you can’t act on it for humane, legal, or ethical reasons.

“You’re not famous, so nobody cares what you think.” It’s very sad how many writers either buy into that spiteful, condescending attitude of “You’re nobody, so nobody cares,” or are crushed by it and stop writing publicly. Of course, we need to be relatively polite wherever we post, even if we haven’t invested time and effort and funds into our own website. Yelling in someone’s face and thereby spitting on them in the process is accomplished by keyboarding an entire diatribe in all CAPS. People I know do post that kind of hate-filled drivel. As the old adage says, Engage brain before putting mouth in gear! (and turn off your Caps Lock key.) There are rules called Netiquette that even apply to Facebook.

It’s wise to be careful what we post online. It generally doesn’t go away just because someone took it down/deleted it. All companies back up data. If you’re trying to be helpful, good on ya. I assume your morals are in the right place or else you’ll need to remove the logjam from your own eyes first before going after the speck in someone else’s. And if your comments can be read as inflammatory or are designed to dig up old atrocities without addressing today’s situation re the same thing, they might not be helpful.

I sometimes write about worthy causes that really need help to carry out their mission. Again a common response to the posts is, “Nobody cares what you think, Shirley … those charities drive me nuts with their endless solicitations.” [Yes, many of them do drive us nuts! They haven’t learned how not to annoy the daylights out of people in a desperate, cutthroat arena.]

The usual response is no reaction but I don’t expect people to boast that they made a donation. Yet within that silence is the implied criticism: I pay my tithing. I don’t have to give anything else to anyone. Your church or mine may quietly contribute huge amounts of humanitarian aid in the form of disaster relief. That doesn’t mean they help millions upon millions of other people, abused animals, or the environment — for whom every day is a disaster. That’s our job!

People tend to misquote our Savior when he said, “For ye have the poor with you always … but me, ye have not always.” What they conveniently skip right over is the middle of the sentence, the Savior’s explanation: “For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me, ye have not always.” (Mark 14:7) When we’re able to, we can help people at any time, even if it’s only a small amount. Of course, that doesn’t mean we always ignore the beggar when he puts up his petition, or that we ignore suffering animals or a polluted environment.

It doesn’t matter that you’re not famous. What you think does matter. Personally, I can’t help by donating large amounts of money. It just isn’t there. I can help by sharing encouragement in my writing and helping to publicize the work of those in the trenches. That is, I sometimes write about worthy causes. I don’t write for them.

And it doesn’t matter that I’m not famous!

Disclaimer: My blog posts are statements of opinion only. I am not in the business of giving financial, legal, medical or any other type of advice. See Terms of Use and Disclaimer for further disclaimers.

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