by Allison Ostapowicz
Living in a country where we can openly speak our opinions is a blessing. But it also comes with a huge responsibility; respecting other’s thoughts and opinions. We all grow up with different experiences that influence our beliefs, some so strong that we can never change them, and we shouldn’t have to change them.
Sharing your opinion out loud takes a lot of courage, especially when it’s the opposite of those around you.
Our society has a huge problem with tearing people down and making fun of others based on their views.
But we as a society have the power to help change this social norm.
One way to help solve this problem is to understand the views of others. Put yourself in their shoes and realize that everyone comes from different backgrounds, cultures and parental influences.
Rather than arguing with someone and tearing them down, make it a conversation. Chat with the person, ask lots of questions. It could turn into a very beneficial conversation, one where you can get your point across without fighting. This way, you can state your opinion and still walk away with your head high because you kept it civil.
Admit when you’re wrong. If you make a mean comment or tell someone they’re wrong, apologize.
Always make sure you are educated on a topic before you fight to be “correct.”
Another issue with our society is that we read posts on social media and automatically think negatively about something before fact checking. With all the fake news on the media, we have to keep our guard up.
If you argue about something you don’t know anything about (or are misinformed), you end up sounding very uneducated and everything you say goes down the drain.
On the opposite side, if someone is saying incorrect facts while giving their opinion, educate them. Don’t make the facts sound biased, but tell them what they were wrong about in a nice way, then a new conversation can start.
When giving opinions, you have to go in with an open mind. You cannot have any conversation in this world if you are close-minded. Being open-minded does not mean open to change your entire view, it simply means understanding the views of others and not completely arguing with what they say.
Nobody benefits or gets anything done when arguing.
Arguing just adds negativity to your life and to the lives of others. The last thing this world needs is more negativity and hateful vibes. There’s no point in hating someone for what and how they think.
But the most important thing to remember when talking and sharing your opinion is to be nice. There is absolutely no power in being mean. Every single person has the right to their own opinion, and nobody should be torn down or bullied for having a certain mindset.
Nobody deserves to be put down, or be sad for the way they think. “Respecting other people’s opinions might not mean anything to you, but to the other person, it might mean everything.” Emmanuela Ahianti ’18.
There are so many different thoughts and views in this world, and every one of those makes our world go round. It makes our society unique and diverse; everyone living their life by their views. Our differences are what make us a functioning society in today’s world.
We as a society have the power to change the way we treat others who have different opinions than us. And we as a community should change it.