Why I Never Publicly Shared My Political Opinion

Why I Never Publicly Shared My Political Opinion

All of the reasons I kept my mouth shut.
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One week ago, it didn't take more than two scrolls into your Facebook newsfeed before you were slam-dunked in the face with a political post on why Hillary is a murderous liar or how Trump is a racist bigot on the fast track to running America into the ground. Some chose to share their reasoning for backing a certain candidate, and some even tried to not-so-politely force their opinions onto others (which I'm sure you experienced as well). This election season was so full of emotion, hate, and anger, exhausting and disappointing us, all while causing anxiety and fear to rise at exponential rates. I proudly participated in my first ever election last Tuesday, but my Facebook "friends" had no clue who I cast my vote for. Here's why:

It was my choice. It was my vote. It was my opinion.

And quite frankly, no one cares what I thought because they were too caught up and focused on what they thought. I couldn't sway anyone or change their opinions over a shared Facebook post, nor is it my place to even try to do such a thing. Posting a political opinion was like setting off a ticking time bomb: nothing good ever came from it, especially considering how controversial this election came to be. The last thing we need in this world is more negativity, hate and division. Social media political debates succeeded over and over again in doing just that, and I refused to be part of the reason why.

I kept my thoughts to myself because I didn't want others to see me in a different light because of my political stance. How many times in the last few months have you seen someone post something you thought was so repulsive, so ridiculous and just so completely off the walls that you haven't been able to look at them the same way since? How many times have you seen someone degrading and dehumanizing another user simply because they don't agree? How many times have you seen someone you thought was respectable call someone "dumb" or "stupid" or "uneducated" because they were voting for a different candidate? How many times have you seen an engagement where an individual is forcing their beliefs down someone else's throat?

This election changed how I see people. There are some people who I thought were respectable, intelligent and kind; but because of the choices they made on social media and how they portrayed themselves, I don't think that way of them anymore. I don't want anyone to feel that way toward me. I don't want to be seen as anything less than a respectful, understanding and compassionate person on and offline.

Whenever I saw something that I passionately agreed with or wanted to click "share" on, I didn't. I was scared to post my opinion. People are so mean, and vicious and condescending. I didn't want to be the next victim of the "Politics Police" (and you all know exactly who they are on your timeline). For some reason people feel this undying need to fiercely defend their candidate, comment on every post that contradicts with their personal views and lash out at anyone who disagrees. I've watched adults come after kids and good friends become strangers, all over a vote. Why is there so much hate and anger? Why do we attack people behind the safety and security of our computer screens?

What I wish was more widely understood is that it's not the President of the United States that is going to make the change we want to see in our country. It's us. We make the change. We are the change.

And we have a long way to go.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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Know Your Rights But Know When They Cross The Line

"Chants and protests only go so far unless you have evidence to back up your words or else you're just putting up an empty fight."

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The first amendment states that you have the right to express freedom of speech, religion, of assembly, of the press and to petition. This is the amendment that essentially allows us to have an opinion and not be afraid to say it aloud without the consequences of government intervention. This is why we see both sides of the political spectrum marching for what they believe is right and chanting for changes they want to see happen in our country. But can a chant be taken too far, can a protest turn violent?

Of course, it can. We have seen peaceful protests turn violent, coming from both red and blue sides. We, as a nation, are not shocked when we see events like this happening on the news. But how about if it happened right in front of you? Would it make you feel a different way rather than feeling the secondhand effects from the television screen? What if someone at that rally was traumatized by someone's words or what if you knew someone who felt the negative reverberations due to someone's political agenda? I have seen it and I have felt it.

I believe there is a line and once it is crossed the debates turn into arguments which then turn into ignorance. You are no longer using your first amendment right if you choose to use it solely as an offense mechanism. Of course, everyone has the right to their own opinion and they are most certainly allowed to fight for what they think is right, but once you decided to not consider the other side's viewpoint; you're only fighting for yourself. And that is not progressive thinking.

Being progressive requires intersectional thinking. The tunnel vision of your own beliefs is dangerous and we need to learn how to widen that tunnel. For example, during the midterm elections, I noticed a lot of people joining in on the campaign discussion, which is amazing! I also wanted to take the time to listen to what people wanted for Arizona despite whether the "change" they were striving for was a Democratic or Republican one. The power of listening to both sides goes a long way. You never want to miss an opportunity to take into consideration someone else's experiences and why they believe what they believe. And while we should never be afraid to state our own opinions, we also should not shut out someone else's.

I know that politics can get messy sometimes and I know that you think your belief is the right one, trust me I have been there. But I think we all need to learn how to be more open-minded; whether you're a Conservative or a Liberal. Chants and protests only go so far unless you have evidence to back up your words or else you're just putting up an empty fight. The first amendment is a beautiful thing but should be used wisely and with as much grace as possible.

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