Public opinion vs. your own

Have you noticed how many people don’t do the things they want to do? Why? Because they are afraid of what others might think or say about them? They may also do things they don’t want to do for the same reasons. At times the opinion of others may become more important than our own desires, or even real needs. This can apply to public opinion or even closer to home with family members. Thoreau said, “Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared to our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that is what determines, or rather, indicates, his fate.” If one’s faith in self is strong, the opinion of others is not as powerful or influential. It is said, “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he”. When we are authentic, and genuine, we will not be swayed by another opinion if it is not in keeping with our own convictions. How did we come to the place where we have to be politically correct to the point we are afraid to speak up, to have an original opinion of our own without concern about the public opinion.
“Its name is Public Opinion. It is held in reverence. It settles everything. Some think it is the voice of God. Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.” Mark Twain
“It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after you own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” Emmerson
Other opinions of you, your opinions of others, all may contribute to negative thinking while adding guilt, fear and resentment. Whenever we are disapproving of another we need to examine if the disapproval is stemming from our opinions. If we could only view our personal opinions as exactly that, just opinions, not truth, we may see it is not worth getting frustrated over. It is important to enjoy the differences between others. It is good to appreciate the idiosyncrasies, eccentricities, peculiarities, and uniqueness of those all around us. With the ability to do so, it will also help each of us to bask in our own awesome individuality.

One thought on “Public opinion vs. your own

  1. How much control does public opinion have over your inner self – and your actions?

    I’ve noticed that so many of my passions, hobbies and interests, come and go, they wax and wane and I wonder: Wouldn’t they be more persistent if they were true to me? The human body hosts a microbiota, a multitude of non-human, alien organisms that actually outnumber human cells 10 to 1. Likewise, is it possible my inner self is host to passions that are not my own?

    Edward L. Bernays, the nephew of Sigmund Freud, was a pioneer in the scientific art of public deception that we know today as public relations. Bernays believed that the manipulation of public opinion was a necessary part of democracy. In his 1926 book “Propaganda, The Public Mind in the Making,” he wrote: “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”

    Well. I’m offended.

    Imagine the advancements this science has made in a hundred years, and how powerful it must be with today’s technologies. The mind controllers have targeted us all of our lives. How can I separate what is truly me from the implanted conditioning?

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