Opinions…Everybody Has One

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You know the riddle: Everybody has one…and some of them stink. (Opinions) During my recent visit back home to Indiana, the preacher’s sermon on sunday was about opinions – and how as faithful people we should look to the Bible for our answers rather than the internet. While I appreciate his opinion…the Bible doesn’t say much about breastfeeding, getting your child to sleep through the night, or what to expect in the first week of life. After having my first baby, I’ve done a lot of searching Google for various reasons – Why is my baby crying? Should I co-sleep? When should baby (insert skill set here; hold a bottle, crawl, roll over, smile, laugh).  What I’ve found is that everyone has a lot of opinions. While one person will passionately advocate for the benefits of co-sleeping, another will say that it’s a risk for SIDS. Breastfeeding is a very heated debate among women. Many doctors and “experts” say that “it’s rare for women to suffer from low milk supply”. But then if you research “increase milk supply”, you find many women who are trying to do just that – and of course, a plethora of opinions about how to achieve it.

I’ve been baby-wearing Zoey nearly every day for the past 2 months. Baby-wearing is the practice of putting your little one in a sling or other carrying device and taking them along with you everywhere you go. This doesn’t work for everyone. Some mothers have back problems because of it, some babies hate it, and there is also a community of moms of the opinion that it neglects the child’s development of independence. I was told by some that it is “great” and that I’m “spoiling the child” by others. Baby-wearing worked for us until the hot weather of summer came along and we both found it uncomfortable to be wrapped up with so much extra fabric.

When an opinion is directed toward a specific person, it is called advice. . . .

The musical crowd of today is more opinionated than ever. I recently went to a music conference in Lancaster, PA where they played songs that were submitted and the panelists discussed whether the song “sucked” or not. In their opinion, most of the songs did suck. Their reasons were sometimes very technically sound, and other times based upon personal preferences. Music is one of those artistic expressions that begets preference and opinion from its audience. You develop into a listener who likes certain sounds and has certain expectations for songs that you listen to in order for them to be accepted into your realm of what you find enjoyable. Even if one person hates what you are creating, another person will find it to be wonderful.

I’ve read so many independent artists’ T shirts, comics and bumper stickers that “bash” on the popular music of today that I’ve finally begun to see how silly it is. Most of what they say about the popular music of today is true – “It’s all autotuned.” ..Well yes, it is. Vocals are edited on every commercial release of every genre of music released after 1990. They have been tuning vocals for years, and the technology has gotten so good that even LIVE autotune is affordable for everyone. If you are reading this, you probably have an opinion about whether this is good or bad use of technology. It’s a heated topic.

They also say of today’s pop music – “It all sounds the same.” ..Right again. That’s the idea of music fitting into a specific genre. It has characteristics that make it similar to other songs of the same genre. You could say that all classical music sounds the same, and all rock music sounds the same, and all techno music sounds the same…because in some way, they do.

I hear this a lot – “The stuff they are playing on the radio is crap.” What an opinion! If all music is just self-expression, can we really call one song “crap” and another song “art”? You could say that the major label artists aren’t choosing songs that focus on self-expression but rather making money…but isn’t that also a reflection of self? (See Madonna’s Material Girl) …

The bottom line…whether the musical opinions are right or not, is that everyone has an opinion. As a musician, it is your own opinion that matters most. Don’t let the opinions of others prevent you from making your own choices.

This goes double for parenthood.

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