Know when to refer. Know when you have a mere opinion with no related experience. Know the same about others and never enter meaningful disagreement unless everyone in the conversation understands what they’re discussing. If you know your expertise and refrain from opinion beyond your expertise, your expertise will increase. If you maintain opinions in your realm of ignorance, your ignorance will increase.
Know what you’re good at and know that you know what you’re good at and act like you know what you’re good at. It’s good to be confident about what your proven expertise. Arrogant pride is not properly placed confidence in expertise, but confidence misplaced in incompetence; the pridefully arrogant don’t know the difference.
Many people like to argue about politics because they understand just enough to argue, but they don’t understand as much as people who work with politics everyday.
For years, I have collected news stacks, written about news from the week before, and thereby explained what was likely to happen in the future. I have rarely been wrong, if ever. This is my expertise and I’m confident in it.
I don’t use politics to inject my “mission to save the world”. For me, political opinion is a skilled craft. Because it is my work, whatever I write about politics is more likely to be 1. accurate and 2. effective. I am calm in my opinions because my track record proves that I am competent. I don’t write about medicine. I know my expertise, as should everyone be confident in their areas of expertise. My confidence empowers me to be respectful and well-mannered.
Everyone has thoughts of grandeur to save mankind, projecting their opinions from any soapbox they can. But, if you don’t normally work with an expertise then don’t pretend. Make a humble blog post if you must, but know where your expertise lies and focus your opinions there. And, feel free to learn new expertise.
Limit your opinions to your regular skill set, to the place you work, to the seat you sit in right now. We don’t need more grandstanding; we need more people applying their moral and ethical—and very good—ideologies into their normal work.