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Katie van Schaijik

What’s wrong with opining

Mar. 21, 2012, at 10:02pm

The other night, watching an episode of Downton Abbey with Jules, I was struck by something the housekeeper, Mrs. Hughes, said.  Someone she'd been helping had come to a hard decision about her future and was seeking reassurance from Mrs. Hughes that she was doing right. "It's not for me to have an opinion about that," said Mrs. Hughes. 

It wasn't indifference; it wasn't false humility.  It was, rather, conscientious self-restraint, and it cost her some effort to exercise it.  It was an expression of a value that I think has been almost completely lost in our culture—the idea that I ought to try not to form, nevermind express, opinions about matters that are—objectively—none of my concern.

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