By Faye Williams
Every person feels entitled to their opinion. Every person has reasons they believe the things they believe. Every person could justify what they believe. And rightfully so. This is the basic function of a human being, to think and to have a reason. I would argue, as well, that it is one of the most beautiful aspects of being a human being, having the ability to formulate an opinion that could make people uncomfortable and fuel an unruly fire of discussion and passion. The feeling of discomfort comes from the unfamiliarity of an opinion that differs than your own. Different opinions make society stronger. It allows for two opposing sides to find a comfortable balance and offers a sense of understanding to a concept you may never have been exposed to. However over the last year or so, especially within the last few months, the idea of inviting ideas that contradict your own has become so far-fetched it appears to be unattainable. Instead of uniting two differing opinions, modern society has influenced us to push the two sides further and further away.
We surround ourselves with opinions that validate our own, instead of seeking out viewpoints that are different than our own. When opinions arise that contradict our own, we seek out defense mechanisms immediately and attack the opposing view rather than learn from it. Modern media tactics have made consuming a single view the course in which many American chose to take.
Think about the sources you follow on social media, the news sources you chose to consume or how your search history reflects your personal beliefs. Because of the way media has controlled political views, the left and right wings are further apart than they have ever been before. Instead of valuing differences, the two sides view them with spite. On Twitter, in the news and through conversation, both sides have become slanderous of each other so immensely that it has become the new norm. What if every opinion was treated with value What if the two sides came together and united their differences? What if the two sides tried to understand an opposing opinion instead of attacking it?
As American author and director Eva Le Gallienne once said, “people hate what they don’t understand.” Understanding is the key to growth. American society and people need growth. American society and people need understanding.
I suggest, then, instead of becoming defensive and attack a person or their beliefs, allow yourself to be momentarily humbled and mature to accept that the beauty of human nature comes from the differences we all offer. People are different.
The fact that people are different is a valuable and beautiful thing. Embrace it. Embrace differences, and learn to grow from them.
This is the opinion of Faye Williams, CSB sophomore