Speaking AND Listening Across The Aisle
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Politics and Activism

Speaking AND Listening Across The Aisle

I have become increasingly more aware of how difficult it is to maybe not align with the overwhelmingly liberal ideas on campus.

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Speaking AND Listening Across The Aisle

Being in an environment where there is a lack of diversity in thought is more frustrating than I had originally thought. Before attending college, I was mostly surrounded by liberal ideals, but there was definitely a mixture of perspectives. There also seemed to be a greater fluidity of ideas across the aisle so to speak in class discussions and in normal interactions.

Now, in my third year, I have become increasingly more aware of how difficult it is to maybe not align with the overwhelmingly liberal ideas. In fact, last week I had the opportunity to see Ben Shapiro and I almost did not go because I was conscious of how that might make me look to the public eye. The event was being hosted in the central hub of campus and I knew the probability of seeing someone I knew was rather high.

I also somewhat feel like I need to put a disclaimer in this article as well explaining why I decided to attend. I would normally never shy away from an opportunity to learn, but it is so easy to get wrapped up in the idea there is a concrete idea of right and wrong and that that coincides with a specific side of the aisle.

This article is not a jab at others or at my campus because I chose to go here with an understanding of its culture. It is more about how I am going to do better when thinking about heavily polarized issues. I sat in the theater with students and community members that I would normally never interact with outside the scope of the event. My preconceptions of who would attend Shapiro were also challenged to be more so misconceptions. I, like I was originally fearful of others doing, looked around with a judging eye before I even spoke a word to another person and this was even before the lecture started. The mere fact that I had preconceptions already showed how much I have polarized who believes what and how they look in my mind.

This lecture was kind of my first step in trying to break that mindset. I wanted to hear another perspective from what I am so used to on campus. I would not go as far to say that this group has been silenced, but I do recognize how difficult it is for people to voice their conservative views on a campus that sometimes demonizes ideas that are not as liberal. It was refreshing to sit in on something that was the minority though. It also challenged me to think a little harder about what I believe and agree with and why I do so.

Also, honestly, it just gets really boring. Yes, I love when people agree with me and tell me that I am right; however, I don't really learn much from that encounter. A real test of maturity and growth is having a productive conversation with someone who you may not agree with. I like parsing through issues with an opposing view. My roommate and I spend hours just talking out situations, forcing each other to think beyond our normal scope.

It is more interesting and forces you to fully explain your ideas because the other person may not fully understand nor agree. It also forces you to tighten up your argument. It is a win-win situation because you can always learn something, and you may even learn something about yourself.

I love being on a campus where there are literally ideas flying left and right and students are actively engaged in the political realm. I just want to make more of a conscious effort.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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