An Eye for an Eye, An Ear for an Ear, and a Truth for a Lie

Honesty LeGrande

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How much do you really like something? It may sound like the easiest question in the world. “Do you like it?” Yet the truth is, your answer may not be completely yours. Everyday people are given different opinions on something, and those opinions have an effect on what you think, whether meant to or not. Of course some might say that their opinion is their own, and there are occasions where that can be true, but it can be nearly impossible to have such an unbiased viewpoint. It is believed that people share others opinions because they wish to stick with the majority and not stand out. What someone really believes is not always the same as what they say in public, but how about when their inner thoughts match up with everyone’s public view? Is this simply a shared opinion held as the truth to the parties involved, or has the public opinions of those in our environment have such an effect as to change our innermost beliefs? Regardless of how one holds themselves, people are impressionable. It is within human nature to observe, learn, and adapt to the world around us. No matter how hard to try, you cannot simply defy human nature just because generations increasingly improve upon the idea we hold of ourselves as an advanced species.

“Only in quiet waters things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world.”

HANS MARGOLIUS, attributed, A Toolbox for Humanity

This quote basically is saying that no matter what the case is, as soon as you learn of others opinions of it, yours can instantly change. It does not mean that your opinion will change to fit the others, but it can still change. You are more likely to have an opinion all to your own credit if you’ve had the pleasure of not being exposed to others’ first. Here is an example which I have experienced myself. I was surfing YouTube, and came upon a song. My first impression was it was terrible. Then I later decided to give it another chance, and when looking it up, I found out that it was in fact a very popular song, and was even in the top ten for Billboard Music. I was very surprised, and ended up watching the artist perform it on various talk shows with the audience giving standing ovations, and suddenly I loved the song. Why? Was it due to my finding out I was in the minority of people who didn’t like the song? I consider myself one who does not “follow the crowd”, and you might too, but was this situation necessarily connected to that? I didn’t express my new found love to everyone at school; in fact not many even know I listen to this type of music. Somehow, my opinion about this one song changed and I am the only one who knew it.

In conclusion, I would like to add to this thought. Having an opinion affected by another is not completely a negative thing. Like the saying goes, we are stronger together. After all, what are facts? They are considered generally believed ideas held by the majority. Societies around the world are based on ideas they hold true, ideas that once upon a time started simply as someone’s opinion that spread like wild fire. So like an abundance of things in life, there are always negative and positive points to something. Next time, when you haven’t the pleasure of an uninfluenced first impression, think, “Oh my gosh, do I really like this? No, not just like, but like, like like it? Like really?”

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Pittsburgh Barack Obama Academy of International Studies
An Eye for an Eye, An Ear for an Ear, and a Truth for a Lie