I love writing for the Odyssey. It's a chance to share my views of the world and read others', plus, let's be honest, it looks good on a resume. But I think it's time to finally acknowledge how frustrating it is to scroll through my endless feed of Odyssey articles.
I am so tired of seeing everyone telling others how to live their lives. Just at a glance, I'll see articles criticizing women wearing leggings, arguing that you shouldn't complain about stress if you don't have a job, and offering unwarranted opinions about genders, politics, religion and everything else you can imagine.
And before you comment: yes, I see the irony. I'm criticizing everyone's opinions by writing an opinion piece of my own. But let me clarify: it's not the opinions I'm criticizing, it's the imperious attitude that people share them with.
Don't get me wrong, I love a good debate. I love listening to other's opinions and sharing mine. I love when it gets just a tad heated, when you see the person's passions in their beliefs. Even if I disagree with their viewpoint, I'm a strong believer in the power of debates. Sometimes I change my mind, sometimes they change theirs, and sometimes (more often than not) we're both too stubborn. But in a debate, at least both of us are equally heard and respected.
There is a way to share your views without criticizing or commanding others. Instead of assuming you're right, analyze the other ideas and include them in your writing. Instead of insulting other people's intelligence merely because they do something differently than you, explain why you think the way you do. And most importantly, don't disparage their ideas, no matter how wrong or strange you think they are.
This is hard. It's hard for me not to disparage people who say that there are only two genders, or that being bisexual isn't real, or even something as seemingly innocuous as wearing leggings. But if I insult them, I can hardly expect them to respect me in return. This isn't a reason to avoid difficult conversations. On the contrary, if we all debated like mature adults, I think we would all find the truth much faster than we do in the world filled with hurled insults and backhand comments. It's like kindergarten: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
I have my own opinions about the world, and I'm happy to share them, but I truly hope that I never share my opinions by insulting others and expecting them to unquestioningly conform to my beliefs. The world would be a much better place if we all respected different ideas just a little bit more.