They’re not the same and treating either as the other has consequences.
- FACT: something that has actual existence, or the quality of being actual.
- OPINION: a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter.
Facts seem to be in short supply, but the shelves in the warehouse of human discourse are overflowing with opinions. Opinions are easy and they’re cheap (short-term). People like easy and cheap, so they opinions sell like hotcakes.
But, there’s trouble.
Opinions, especially biased ones, can easily lead us to make decisions that are restrained, irrational, and even foolish. Facts are rooted in reality, and reality, although (sometimes) harsh, leads to better decisions and better outcomes.
We’re not sheep. We can think. We have the gift of logic. We can discern fact from opinion, but it might require work. Work isn’t easy and it’s expensive. The expense has a certain long-term payoff, but many of us are short-term thinkers.
Finding facts requires seeking facts. Some facts are harder to find than others, but they are out there!
- Before you buy the next blinky light someone told you to buy, do the work. Find the facts to support or dispute the matter.
- Before you take someone’s advice at face value, seek or ask for facts. Anyone with a foot to stand on should be able to defend their position (hopefully with facts).
- Before you believe what you read, in the news or elsewhere, seek facts. Do your research.
Whatever you do, don’t spread your opinion as fact. You’re only hurting yourself and others who buy what your selling.