What’s your opinion?

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Marj Moore

One of the great things about a newspaper is that you don’t have to read it carefully from beginning to end.

It’s designed to be browsed and maybe reread in parts at some later stage of the day.

A lot of our readers are browsers and while some may do a cursory flick through to see if anything catches their eyes, after looking at the front page story, many will turn to a specific section such as sport, the Samoan section, BTL or the classifieds - depending on their area of interest.

Others might make a beeline the Opinion section with the Editorial, Opinions and the Letters to the Editor.

If you are the kind of person who enjoys a good debate or a plain old argument, there is usually something there for everyone.

Opinions. Everyone has one, and in my view, it helps make the world go around.

In our front page story today, an opinion voiced by a Village Council and later endorsed by the Lands and Titles Court, had a profound effect on a family and a village. After nine years of banishment and what appears to be a clarification of village jurisdiction issued by the Court, the family is returning home to resume their lives. 

With the ink on the papers from the elections barely dry, there are still plenty of opinions out there about appointments, those who missed out or got in, and the myriad reasons behind the P.M.’s choices for Ministers and Associate Ministers.

Given that he probably needed to employ the wisdom of Solomon to make those decisions, it may well have come down to a balancing act of experience,  talent, age, islands and districts, male and female and rewards and punishments and a hefty dose of cunning and guile.

Still it will keep us talking for the next five years.

Getting conversations going about issues that are important is another area where everyone’s opinion is worth considering; particularly when it is followed by action.

Several recent issues that come to mind are domestic abuse and women as leaders. 

The airing of opinions about domestic abuse regardless of the uncomfortable feelings and shame it has thrown up has had a marked effect on our society and how we want it to be. 

Of course it hasn’t solved every problem but we have all learned a little bit more and can no longer claim to be unaware.

There is support and knowledge and change that wasn’t there a few years ago.

Women as leaders has also attracted a great deal of discussion – by women themselves, but also by men; many of whom have always known what women  bring to the table (as well as the food!) 

A quick look to see who are running many of our Government Departments, businesses, our Faculties at the National University of Samoa as well as their own families, will provide you with a few opinions about women and their leadership skills. 

Last week, we had an amazingly diverse number of opinions from our readers and contributors about what should be done about the student fighting problem.

Some of the suggestions were downright scary and would have fitted neatly in to the laws and decisions of some of the countries in the world where we are lucky enough not to live.

On the opposite page, we have an opinion from one T Samatua which strikes a chord. The writer is looking back, noting changes and talks about looking within ourselves for answers rather than just at those who are in the spotlight for their bad behaviour.

And then in a column on this page, we have another opinion by our columnist Rebecca Lolo about our tendency to always want to apportion blame – to someone, anyone.

Interesting opinions to reflect upon as we come to the end of our Easter holiday and celebration.     

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