As I have said before, beliefs are not real. They are the mind making itself right. Shoulds are a type of belief. People believe in God. That doesn’t make God’s existence or work any more real (or not real) because people believe it to be so. What is, is.
Opinions, on the other hand, are someone’s preference for one thing over another i.e. I like chocolate icecream more than strawberry icecream. Opinions are internal, within a person. You own your opinions, and that’s okay. They are about you.
Beliefs are more insidious. They are externally focused, and having them doesn’t change anything. They have no basis on fact. Here is a rough guide as to opinions and beliefs position in a continuum that includes facts. Facts are real, true and exact. 2 x 2 = 4 is a fact.
Facts —– Opinions ———————— Beliefs
People will try to counter your facts and opinions with their beliefs. For example: “I weigh 70 kilograms”. “I don’t believe that”. A fact doesn’t require a belief to be true. It just is.
A lot of what people say are beliefs, not opinions, and certainly not facts. They cloud facts will their emotions and feelings, often deeply held, that obscure their judgements. This results in the formation of beliefs. You sometimes might hear something like “that’s her opinion”. What they really mean is “that’s her belief”.
Shoulds often start out as an opinion, a preference, but become a belief, something much more evil, when the attempt is made to impose the opinion on others. This also occurs the other way – feeling pressure to impose others’ opinions on yourself.
Shoulds are collective or societal beliefs. They have no place in an enlightened mind or an enlightened society. Saying “its cold tonight” is a belief, as someone else might find it warm, and this belief does not actually change the temperature. Saying “I prefer the temperature tonight compared to last night” is an opinion. Sometimes people will state a belief as an opinion i.e. “Its cold tonight” when they really mean “I prefer it when it is warmer”. That opinion becomes a belief when someone differs in opinion to them, and they defend their opinion as the only correct alternative. It has become a belief.