It’s getting mighty uncomfortable walking around these days isn’t it?

Unsolicited opinions seem to be everywhere on virtually anything from saving some itty, bitty bug that you didn’t know existed to who should be able to go to what potty and how patriotic you are based on what you watch on television.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes, I just want to go for a walk.

The First Amendment is a wonderful thing, granting us the right to share our thoughts on who should win an election, whether we agree with our leaders on the city, state and national levels or if generic cola is just as tasty as the traditional southern standard.

But here in the last few years, folks seem to have forgotten that declaring you have an opinion automatically makes you right. Or, that the only opinion worthy of consideration is yours.

Do I have an opinion on kneeling football players? Yes.

The job performance of the President of the United States? Yes.

The attempts to remove statues involving the War Between The States? Yes. I have opinions on marriage, Easter bunnies, puppy versus cats, whether four-day work weeks are better than five and Ford versus Chevy trucks.

But I’m not an expert in any of those fields and I’m willing to bet that 99.99 percent of those willing to shout in the street over some of them aren’t either. I do, however, truly wonder how so many folks manage to get all that time off work to go stand on street corners and wave signs.

When it comes to opinion, last I checked the loudest doesn’t win.

It’s truly amazing, however, how often these days we’re literally surrounded by those convinced that if their opinion goes against the status quo it must automatically be right.

Why is rarely, if ever, explained.

Perhaps I’m incredibly old-fashioned, but I just don’t think something is intrinsically bad simply because it is old.

Lots of things have stuck around for quite some time – perhaps for a reason.

Sure, some don’t stand the test of time.

Blood letting as a cure for just about anything, for example, or using radium in nail polish and arsenic in old lace ... most, I think, will now agree should not be continued. That new-fangled idea of adding air-conditioning to buildings seems to have really taken off too. I feel confident that most folks believe it ought to stay.

But offering up a “Howdy-do” when meeting folks on the street, in the store, etc, just doesn’t seem like all that bad a thing.

Nor does cooking up extra food at each meal just in case company shows up, saying “Yes, ma’am” and “No, sir,” offering up a seat for our elders, telling folks their kid is absolutely precious regardless of everything, and that you certainly love that color-vomit gift sweater even if you would rather eat mud than actually wear it.

Perhaps you’d like to shout, stomp and wave signs for a few days to let passersby know how you feel on those issues, but I just don’t see the need to argue at the top of my lungs over any of it.

That’s why we have space in the newspaper like the Viewpoint page – it’s supposed to be about sharing thoughts cordially.

But you won’t see a lot of my opinions here – even though I have some rather strong ones on a few of them.

I haven’t been briefed on national security issues, so am not really qualified to discuss what we should be doing with North Korea, for example.

Nor have I spent a whole lot of time studying up on what the standard contract of an NFL player says he should or should not be doing when the national anthem plays.

I’ve got a few very strong opinions about quite a few things, including those. I bet you do to.

But, unless we can talk rather than shout, how about we just stick to “Howdy-do?”

– Shannon Crabtree is editor & publisher of the El Campo Leader-News.

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