Opinions vs Beliefs, Passion vs being closed minded

(originally posted in The voices in my head, an Our Personal Journey Family Blog)

September has been Project O on Opinionated Man’s blog Harsh Reality.  Project O is a list of nine questions that was available to all who wanted to participate.  I offered up my own submission for the project O.  I will re-blog it on this site, for those interested.  Project O has been releasing 4 submissions a day since the beginning of the month.  I was reading them and trying to stay up to date.  I will admit, I have fallen behind lately though.  But as I was reading the submissions and some of the comments for each one, something struck me and the wheel began to turn in my head.

I don’t remember which exact submission it was, but I know one of the answers dealt with the issue of same-sex partners and maybe the rights of them.  (This post is not about whether or not same-sex and the rights of them is right or wrong.  So please let us not turn it into that.)  It is about the comment I read that stated that someone was being “closed-minded”.  But that got me thinking.  What is the difference between having a belief and an opinion?  And is there a difference between being passionate about something and being closed-minded?  So I kept on thinking about this.  I even got on Facebook and twitter and offered up those questions.

The responses for the first questions were fascinating.

Belief needs no proof.  Eventually you need to back up your opinion with facts.

….in todays society we reserve the use of the words differently. A belief is something that you truly believe and consider it sacred. An opinion is your thoughts on a subject (such as political party or color or what clothes look best on you) and these opinions naturally change over time. This is just my OPINION of how we use these words today.

Opinions could be wrong.  You just might not know it is wrong at the time you say it.  Example.  You could say the Phillies are a great team this year because you only watched the last month.  Once you saw their record you would hopefully change your mind.  But a religious belief can be judged (just ask me lol) but if it is truly your belief it can’t be right or wrong.

A belief is something you live by; while an opinion is something you want others to live by…

Websters Dictionary defines opinion as:

a :  a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter

b :  approval, esteem

a :  belief stronger than impression and less strong than positive knowledge

b :  a generally held view

And Defines belief as:

a feeling of being sure that someone or something exists or that something is true

: a feeling that something is good, right, or valuable

: a feeling of trust in the worth or ability of someone

In life there are things that are negotiable and non-negotiable.  My opinion is, that is where the difference lies.  The core things in life that we hold true becomes our belief system and are not negotiable to be wrong, even if evidence proves it otherwise.  We believe them to be true and sacred, and wont budge.  We would hold those standards not only to ourselves but others also.  Everything else is negotiable.  Those are our opinions and can change if and when we believe that benefits us.  We hold those standards for ourself but not to others.  We want others to also hold those standards, but it is not a deal breaker.

In the whole same-sex issue, that is where people get heated.  Because for some it is a non-negotiable, while for others it is negotiable.  Is one right or wrong based on whether or not it is negotiable for that person?

So that brings us up to the second point.  Is there a difference in being passionate about something or being closed-minded?

My first instinct when I heard that comment of Project O, was that they mistook passion for being close minded.  And I think that they get mistaken all the time.  When you truly are passionate in something, you believe in it whole heartily.  Which could be a temporary thing that you love at this moment or it could be those non-negotiable items.  Which still doesn’t mean they are closed-minded.  Close minded to me suggest that someone will not accept anything that differs from what they believe.  Is that wrong?

We all have our non-negotiables.  It makes us who we are, what and why we are.  If we lose those non-negotiables, we no longer exist.  But your non-negotiables might and are different from mine.  The closest people in our lives I would suggest have non-negotiables that are similar to ours.

I would love to hear your feedback.

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