Tuesday, January 26, 2010

An Opinion on Opinions and Idea on Ideas

Let's take a moment to consider the people who ask for your opinion but don't really want to hear it.

How is it that these sorts of people exist? It's quite baffling. They do, after all, ask for your opinion out of their own free will. And one would assume, then, that they understand the issue of tomato, tomahto. Potato, potahto. And yet your opinion comes as a total surprise.

Why I had no idea you thought I looked fat at all, let alone in this dress!

How could you possibly think my novel needs work? I've been toiling away for three months!

And, of course . . .

But the rest of the world has nationalized health care!

The truth with these people, I have found, is they aren't asking for your opinion at all. They're asking for your assurance.

That dress looks P-H-A-T!

I couldn't put your book down. Really. It was that good.

And . . .

Of course I want hospitals to run like DMVs! I LOVE re-newing my license and was hoping to have a similar experience when my leg is falling off!!

They ask for your assurance, because deep down, they don't believe there is any sort of problem. If there WAS a problem, they wouldn't ask. They wouldn't need to. They'd know. And they'd fix it. And try the dress thats a size bigger. Or take a second stab at editing the novel. Or step back and re-evaluate government's role in health care.

But it's a vicious circle. Because once they've done this and gotten to the point where they feel victorious, they'll ask for your opinion. Expecting rave reviews.

And pout when you disagree.

But maybe one day, instead of asking for opinions, people will ask for ideas.

How would this dress look even better on me?

What can be done to make this book more marketable?

And, the winner . . .

Share your ideas on how we can improve the current health care bill.

There is power in ideas. And death in opinions.

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