It's Okay To Disagree

It's Okay To Disagree

Learning to love each other through our differences
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While scrolling through social media recently, I've seen a lot of posts that say something like this:

"If you're voting for (insert presidential candidate of choice here), don't talk to me."

"If you say (All Lives Matter, Police Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter), go ahead and unfriend me now."

Here's the thing, people: We are never going to agree on every subject. We have to learn how to be okay with that, and even how to celebrate that.

People in my family are voting for Donald Trump. Do I want them to? Absolutely not. Am I going to stop talking to them because of it? Absolutely not.

I don't understand this rhetoric that I've seen so much of lately. I don't know about you, but I certainly don't agree with everything that my friends think. Not even my best friends. What a boring life I would have if I did. We disagree on stuff, and that is okay. If my friends expected me to agree with them on every subject, I wouldn't have any friends. One of my favorite character traits of my best friends is that they are willing to tell me when they disagree with me. They say something when they think I am wrong. They challenge me. They call me out. They question my thinking and share their opinions. And I am a better person because of it.

I understand that the presidential election and the Black Lives Matter movement are both huge subjects in this world right now, and I think that a person's opinion on those subjects says a lot about him/her. I also know, though, that we are all human. We all have different experiences that influence our thoughts, actions, and perspectives. Maybe that person posting about the bathrooms in Target has never actually met a transgender person. You are never going to know someone else's perspective if you don't ask.

So maybe instead of deleting friends and not talking to people, we should do the exact opposite.

Have conversations. Be honest. Share your experiences.

My opinions may not change from the challenging conversations I have with my friends, but the way I see the world always does. I learn a new story. I hear a perspective I had never thought of. I learn something new about a friend.

I am not saying that this is a black and white concept. Sometimes people are toxic. Sometimes people need to be deleted from your friend list because their posts cause you mental or emotional harm. Life happens. What I am saying is that if we learn how to respond out of love rather than defense, this world will be a much better place. Conversations and stories are what will open the minds of those we disagree with. Hate, hostility, and resentment will not solve anything.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." - Martin Luther King Jr.

So, friends, today, let's talk about it. Let's listen to each other, learn from each other, and love each other like we never have before.


Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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A Little Skepticism Goes A Long Way

Be informed citizens and verify what you see and hear.

rahma
rahma
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These days more than ever before we are being bombarded constantly by a lot of news and information, a considerable amount of which is inaccurate. Sometimes there's an agenda behind it to mislead people and other times its just rumors or distortion of the facts. So, how do you sift through all this and get accurate information? How can you avoid being misled or brainwashed?

This is an important topic because the decisions each of us make can affect others. And if you are a responsible citizen your decisions can affect large numbers of people, hopefully positively, but negatively as well.

It's been said that common sense is not something that can be taught, but I am going to disagree. I think with the right training, teaching the fundamentals behind common sense can get people to have a better sense of what it is and start practicing it. All you will need is to improve your general knowledge and gain some experience, college is a good place for that, then add a little skepticism and you are on your way to start making sensible decisions.

One of the fundamental things to remember is not to believe a statement at face value, you must first verify. Even if you believe it's from a trusted source, they may have gotten their info from a questionable one. There's a saying that journalists like to use: "if your mother said, 'I love you' you should verify it.'" While this is taking it a bit too far, you get the idea.

If you feel that something is not adding up, or doesn't make sense then you are probably right. This is all the more reason to check something out further. In the past, if someone showed a picture or video of something that was sufficient proof. But nowadays with so many videos and picture editing software, it would have to go through more verification to prove its authenticity. That's not the case with everything but that's something that often needs to be done.

One way of checking if something sounds fishy is to look at all the parties involved and what do they have to gain and lose. This sometimes is easier to use when you're dealing with a politics-related issue, but it can work for other things where more than one person/group is involved. For example, most people and countries as well will not do something that is self-destructive, so if one party is accusing the other of doing something self-destructive or disadvantageous then it's likely that there is something inaccurate about the account. Perhaps the accusing party is setting the other one up or trying to gain some praise they don't deserve.

A lot of times all it takes is a little skepticism and some digging to get to the truth. So please don't be that one which retweets rumors or helps spread misinformation. Verify before you report it.

rahma
rahma

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