I’ve come to think of opinions as windows. An opinion is limited to a single perspective. We can use that perspective to look out and see a particular aspect of reality. We can still glance this way and the other, or we can focus on a specific point. Opinions are inherently interesting because they often grant us access to views otherwise unavailable to us.
Just like glass can be single- or double-glazed – or bullet-proof – opinions can be more or less firm. A strong opinion is still a point of view; it’s just harder for outside signals to get through and thus feels safer and more permanent. It’s still made of glass, though. If it weren’t, or if the curtains were drawn, we would call it a belief – or a dogma.
Yet, strong opinions should still let the light through. If they don’t, we should call them something else. The threshold past which we’re no longer opinionated but narrow-minded should also mark the point we stop talking. At the very least, it should be the moment others stop listening.