To some extent or other, people are susceptible to the opinions of others, they are relied on. But much of that opinion is not based upon personal experience, it is just what “they” say. They say a lot of things and often with a level of assertion that one might expect from an expert. Again, that expertise is not based on deep personal experience, rather a pressing need to opine. The truth is that until you have tried it yourself, you simply don’t know and the reliance upon hearsay is prejudicial. One judges a situation based upon the hearsay of what “they” say. Conclusion comes before experience. This is scientifically suspect and yet not uncommon. Even scientists do this especially when it comes to defining what is and is not whacko. We are social animals and what our peers or “they” say, can outweigh experimentally and experientially determined fact. People are a bit lazy. Anecdotal evidence garnered at the font of “they” influences a whole bunch of stuff. Weight is given to opinion and that opinion is sourced in those keen to opine without any actual evidence. The urge to opine is strong in some.
Until you have tried something and given it a good go, immersed yourself in it, you simply don’t know what it is all about. If you take up a martial art, you probably won’t understand it all that much, until you have been doing it for about three years. Then you will have given it a fair go and have started to understand something about it. Until such time as this, you are scratching the surface. There are many people who are instant experts about a whole bunch of stuff. It is a bit like a sachet of instant soup, you open up the soup, pour it in a cup, and add boiling water. It looks like soup, but it is not real home-made soup. Drinking a few cups of this does not confer an in-depth knowledge of all soups.
Some things we kind of know we don’t want to try. However, we might be prejudiced from the get-go. We may not want to go somewhere because of what we have read or heard about it. We may want to go somewhere because of reviews. People rely on opinions. And we can make ours up without any basis, especially after a glass or two. There is a real danger that when someone is bullshitting it becomes a part of the set of what “they” say. The set of what “they” say has amongst its members bullshit. Many do not use discernment all that much.
If you want to know something you must try it yourself. That is, you need to apply it not simply talk about it. If you want to know what someone is thinking, then asking them is the only way to hear it from the horse’s mouth. Even this is not sure-fire, because communication between beings is an inexact science. Hearsay is an unreliable evidence base. At one level everybody knows this, yet we forget as and when it suits.
Having cued this up:
How much do I rely on the opinions of others?
Have these ever strengthened my prejudices?
Have I ever stopped myself from doing things because I already “know” about it without trying it for myself?