I have been thinking about the idea that we need not apologize for our thoughts or opinions…, no matter what those thoughts or opinions are.
I believe that the only place where an apology might be warranted is in one’s unwillingness or total rejection of re-evaluating/reconsidering one’s thoughts and/or opinions…when one denies that another idea might be better than the one one already has. That, to me, is the point at which we might begin to consider taking responsibility for how we could be hurting others, in some way or other, through our thoughts and opinions.
I believe that it is extremely important to evaluate our opinions and ideas, and even on a regular and frequent basis. Everything around us and within us changes over time – why might our ideas and opinions and viewpoints remain stagnant or fixed throughout life? I have found myself go from one extreme on an opinion to the other, simply by learning new and full information on the topic. I do not feel guilty for my former belief, nor do I feel it appropriate or required for me to feel guilty about it. Based on the information and experiences I had had at that point in time, that was my belief. When new experiences and new information reached me, I was willing to re-evaluate my stance and take a new one. I think this is possible in just about any situation for any topic or idea. So, we need not feel bad for our opinions, I think. We must merely be responsible for updating them consistently and actively, especially when something arises that points them out as being inappropriate and/or unloving in some way.