Recently my best friend, (my sister by other parents) and her daughter went shopping with me. My friend decided she wanted a particular item that her daughter and I thought was a bad buy. She knew before coming to the store this was an item she wanted to get. She was paying for it and didn’t ask our opinion about it nor did she request help in the process. Her 18 year old daughter was born 10 days before my own birthday. According to her mother, we have similar personality traits. My friend says this with humor mixed with a little exasperation. Back in the store aisle as the daughter and I are giving our opinions to my friend who hates confrontations. My mouth opened and I tossed out what I thought was a good reason to refrain from buying it. When I thought of my next point, the daughter had taken the lead. She gave the very argument I was thinking of and we both began to barrage my friend with reasons why she was wasting her money. Then I heard a little voice inside my heart say something like this, SHUT UP. I shut up and her daughter continued. About two minutes later my friend had enough. She verbally checked her daughter in a way only a mother can. It was the sign that said PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK. The rebuke wasn’t directed towards me, but I took it anyway. The daughter is just 18, a kid. So what was my excuse? The know it all in me was rearing its ugly head. No wait a minute I am the reformed know it all. On that day I was reminded that opinions should only be given when asked. They should always be delivered with respect or not at all. It is ok to let something pass you by without saying what you think about it. Wait two seconds someone else will jump in with their two cents that might just be as dumb as yours. Oh and by the way my friend’s purchase turned out to be so wise that I might just have to get me one.
Nothing is more conducive to peace of mind than not having an opinion at all.--Georg Christoph Lichtenberg