“A wise man makes his own decisions. An ignorant man follows public opinion.”
They say ignorance is bliss. What this essentially means is if we do not know something, then we do not have to worry about it. Although this is a true statement and can make life easier, it doesn’t mean that this line of thinking is always right. We need to be careful and not always rely on public opinion on all matters as it may rob us of our own decision making abilities especially when there are certain decisions that warrant our opinion and feelings on the matter at hand.
Public opinion rides a wave of others’ views, attitudes and beliefs around a certain topic. This can range from people saying that Coke is better than Diet Pepsi or McDonald’s is better than Burger King. The tv commercials and advertisements provide reasons as to why their product is better saying things like “9 out of 10 dentists prefer Colgate over Crest” or a certain product is supported by an organization that appeals to most of the view audience. These type of sale tactics will most likely persuade the consumer to buy that particular product. These are some minor examples of how public opinion can influence our decision making and really don’t affect the masses with this type of decision making.
Now when it comes to higher stakes in decision making like differing political viewpoints or about laws we are to soon to vote upon, the term “public opinion” seems to morph into something completely different and has the tendency to ramp itself up quite a bit creating the type of atmosphere that makes you feel like you are in a pressure cooker. Everyone is presenting their side/story or spin on things to get you to sway your vote in their favor. When these things happen, my advice is to make sure to do your own research to fully understand what you are deciding on. We didn’t like to be told what to do or what to think when we were little. Why start now? Remember to be wise and make your decisions based on what’s best for you and your loved ones. That is all that matters.
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards developing your responsible decision making skills?