It’s ok to admit you don’t have an opinion

Image via Thinkstock
Image via Thinkstock

When to not weigh in

By Cazzy Lewchuk, Opinions Editor

In an extremely divided world, many issues formulate our views and opinions.  In many ways, our opinions define us and are a vessel for others to judge us on. Generally, our friends and peer group have a lot of the same opinions, and they are feelings that we will defend and argue.

In such a divisive world, being unsure of one’s opinion can be conflicting, particularly if others around you seem to have such strong viewpoints one way or the other. Having mixed feelings on an issue is a problem that we’ve all faced. In this day and age, we’re all expected to be aware, have a certain level of “wokeness.” Can one really afford to be ignorant?

The fact is, it can be hard to know everything about an issue. Topics are divisive for a reason, and every issue is complicated in some sense. This is especially true when discussing social justice issues if one isn’t well-versed in the topics of privilege, class, systemic abuse, etc.

If you’re not a member of a certain group, you may not even be qualified to speak out about an issue directly impacting that group. It’s important to support equal rights as often as possible, but there’s a difference between supporting and genuinely pleading ignorance. If you’re a straight male and there’s an issue dividing the lesbian community that you don’t understand, you may be better off just not giving your two cents. If you honestly don’t know all the facts about an issue, it’s okay to say something along the lines of: “You know what, I don’t know enough to have a solid opinion on this.”

There may also be cases in which you just don’t want to comment on an issue, and that’s okay, too. It can be very exhausting to keep up with the problems facing the world today. If you don’t know and you don’t care to research the topic, it’s fine to sit something out.

There is a general expectation from many that we are to be well-versed and have the “right” views on many topics. While it’s very important to keep an open mind and be aware of important issues, not everyone can be an expert on everything. It is far better to admit that you don’t have an opinion than it is to form one from ignorance, apathy, or intolerance. It is far less closed-minded to admit you aren’t knowledgeable about something than to act like you know what you’re talking about with an uninformed opinion.