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Opinions: Everyone Has One

Written by Vicki Hinze

On December 26, 2010

Lately, my inbox has been flooded with questions and comments on the Smart Bitches and Cassie Edwards situation.  So rather than respond privately to each of these things, I’ve elected to post my thoughts here.

First, I have no comment on the specific situation.  I’m not directly involved.  I don’t have all the information required to form an educated opinion.

In general, I believe that uneducated opinions do nothing constructive and too much that’s destructive.  So I work at avoiding forming them.

It’s in everyone’s best interest, in my humble opinion, to leave determining guilt or innocence to those who do have all information and the credentials to interpret it fairly and accurately.

I’m not an intellectual property attorney.  I’m not a literary attorney.  I don’t know the ins and out of the law to a degree sufficient to make a determination that is just or fair or right or legal.  So I leave it to the intellectual property and literary attorneys to do so.  That’s their job, and most are very good at it.

Like everyone else, I am interested in the outcome.

Like everyone else, I am listening and learning and sorting through to discover truth.

All who write fiction, historical or contemporary or anything in between should monitor.  We all research.  We all want to be accurate and to not knowingly infringe on others’ rights.  To that end, we need to understand those rights so that we act legally and morally and ethically.

To that end, no, I won’t state x was right and y was wrong.  I will say that all parties involved should be treated with dignity and respect–which is my personal philosophy in dealing with anyone on anything.  And I would repeat that philosophy to those who encourage me to virtually blister the ears of either side.  But that’s my philosophy and my choice.

Each of the individuals involved in any way on this issue must make their own choices and choose their path–how and when and if they choose to participate in discussion, to comment, to complain or justify or whatever.

We must be careful not to tread on the rights of others to make their own choices.  It’s important to remember in situations such as this one that there are larger issues at stake.  That doesn’t minimize the significance of these issues but it doesn’t negate the bigger issues, either.  And this issue might or might not rise to the level of the bigger issue.

So that’s my bottom line on this specific issue and all I have to say about it.

My hope is that everyone will be fair and just, retain their own dignity and grace, and treat all of the people involved with respect.

If collectively and individually we can do that, then those who can will sort this out.  The right solution will be had.  Many will learn things that benefit them, so the result will be informative and constructive.  And the matter will be resolved.

Very often good can come from difficulty and challenges.  It’s seldom painless, but it doesn’t have to be made more painful.

So to those who asked for my advice, here it is:  Please refrain from forming an opinion at this point.  Please withhold commentary and damaging remarks.  Give those in positions and with the knowledge required to make good and fair and just calls on this time to do so.  Wait patiently.  Monitor.  Learn.

And remember that when it comes to opinions, everyone has one.  Some will prove right, some wrong.  If we form our opinion based on the best information available from the most informed minds available, then we’re best serving ourselves and others–particularly those involved in the challenge.

Doesn’t everyone involved deserve that?

In my humble opinion, they do.  They really do.



©2008, Vicki Hinze


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