13.8 billion years ago, there was an explosion of kinetic energy that became our Universe. Fast forward 9 billion years and everything slowed down enough to coagulate; our Sun was born. This star is now accelerating around our galaxy at a speed of 45,000 miles per hour. Our solar system, the planets and matter whipping around a celestial bullet, racing across time and space, houses the only known place that can support life in the entire Universe. It took an incredibly long time, and a near perfect set of circumstances for humans to have the opportunity to live as we do today.
And yet, we still have issues accepting different viewpoints and being kind to one another.
The truth is a force of nature that does not care about human beings. During early schooling, you only explore the objective truth; the safe factoids that no one can argue. However, our entire lives will be defined by subjective truths, trials of virtue, and the consequences of picking a side. If you haven’t been there yet, you will. This is not a matter of choosing clothes for the next day or what you will have for lunch, it’s a matter of choosing your character; the defining moments in your life. Undoubtedly when these moments arrive, there is a chance they could hurt those who love you the most.
This is the core issue of American society in 2018, and the reason for the great division our nation faces. Every modern issue in the country has become stagnate and course. Attempted discussions of controversy roll off the tongue as if one had just bit into a bad apple. People are jaded and tired of arguing with friends and family. It is much easier to go about your day and ignore questions presented to us by media, than face another intense argument with Uncle Richard on Facebook.
We cannot speak to one another anymore without tiptoeing around points of contention. When we try, it’s a survival game. Each party ever alert, waiting for the slip-up, and the moment someone says something ‘wrong?’ We attack, shame, belittle, and crush in the most condescending way possible.
“The truth may be puzzling. It may take some work to grapple with. It may be counter-intuitive. It may contradict deeply held prejudices. It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to be true. But our preferences do not determine what's true.” – Carl Sagan
It’s time to stop viewing controversial conversation as a moment of fight or flight. The only way to address issues of debate with one another is with honesty, brutal and uncut. Having difficult conversations with one another needs to stop being difficult in the first place. Being afraid to voice opinion in the wake of losing the respect from peers and family does nothing but deepen the divide. On the flip side of the coin, condemning those who do not share the same opinion or are not as educated on the subject accomplishes absolutely zero progress.
Sit down with your loved ones and engage in civil conversation about that elephant in the room. Hold nothing back, and there is nothing to fear. Honesty may not be nice all the time, but it is alwayskind. To be honest with others, you must be honest with yourself first. When hearing a point in an argument that makes you angry, it is your duty as another human to open your mind. The very definition of compromise is making concessions, and only by considering everything said can you truly value the ultimate goal of coming together.
The division runs very deep in the nation presently. The only way to come back, even if it is just inches at a time, is to change how we speak to one another at home. Truths already do not care about us or our feelings.
It’s time we start caring for one another again.