An Open Letter To Everyone With An Opinion

An Open Letter To Everyone With An Opinion

Learn to debate, not insult.
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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.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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A Playlist From The iPod Of A Middle Schooler In 2007

I will always love you, Akon.
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Something happened today that I never thought in a million years would happen. I opened up a drawer at my parents' house and I found my pink, 4th generation iPod Nano. I had not seen this thing since I graduated from the 8th grade, and the headphones have not left my ears since I pulled it out of that drawer. It's funny to me how music can take you back. You listen to a song and suddenly you're wearing a pair of gauchos, sitting on the bleachers in a gym somewhere, avoiding boys at all cost at your seventh grade dance. So if you were around in 2007 and feel like reminiscing, here is a playlist straight from the iPod of a middle schooler in 2007.

1. "Bad Day" — Daniel Powter

2. "Hips Don't Lie" — Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean

SEE ALSO: 23 Iconic Disney Channel Moments We Will Never Forget

3. "Unwritten" — Natasha Bedingfield

4. "Run It!" — Chris Brown

5. "Girlfriend" — Avril Lavigne

6. "Move Along" — All-American Rejects

7. "Fergalicious" — Fergie

8. "Every Time We Touch" — Cascada

9. "Ms. New Booty" — Bubba Sparxxx

10. "Chain Hang Low" — Jibbs

11. "Smack That" — Akon ft. Eminem

12. "Waiting on the World to Change" — John Mayer

13. "Stupid Girls" — Pink

14. "Irreplaceable" — Beyonce

15. "Umbrella" — Rihanna ft. Jay-Z

16. "Don't Matter" — Akon

17. "Party Like A Rockstar" — Shop Boyz

18. "This Is Why I'm Hot" — Mims

19. "Beautiful Girls" — Sean Kingston

20. "Bartender" — T-Pain

21. "Pop, Lock and Drop It" — Huey

22. "Wait For You" — Elliot Yamin

23. "Lips Of An Angel" — Hinder

24. "Face Down" — Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

25. "Chasing Cars" — Snow Patrol

26. "No One" — Alicia Keys

27. "Cyclone" — Baby Bash ft. T-Pain

28. "Crank That" — Soulja Boy

29. "Kiss Kiss" — Chris Brown

SEE ALSO: 20 Of The Best 2000's Tunes We Still Know Every Word To

30. "Lip Gloss" — Lil' Mama

Cover Image Credit: http://nd01.jxs.cz/368/634/c6501cc7f9_18850334_o2.jpg

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Here's What Happens When All Of Your Friends Have Babies

All of my friends back home are married with children. No, really, they are.

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Over the past few months, three of my friends have shared their pregnancy news with me, and I couldn't be more thrilled. Baby news always stirs up a range of emotions for me. I'm excited and crying happy tears (no joke, I started to cry when my best friend told me and showed me her ultrasound).

Being "Auntie Meg" brings me such great joy. You see, I absolutely adore children, especially my friend's kiddos. They can easily brighten up my day with their giggles, love you, and their goodbye kisses & waves. I absolutely love getting to be "Auntie Meg"; it could potentially be my favorite role to fill.

I don't think I've ever loved human beings more than I love these babies. These are kiddos I would do almost anything for; they truly have my whole heart and I couldn't be more thankful for each and every one of them. I've loved getting to watch my friends grow into incredible parents.

I love getting to be one of the biggest cheerleaders for my friends and their kids. Listen, I can't wait for the day when they are older and are asking to come over more and spend time doing fun things with auntie Meg. I can't wait to watch them grow and I can't wait to be able to come alongside them and be a shoulder to cry on and one of the loudest voices cheering them on (Next to mom and dad, of course).

While there is just so much good about your friends growing up and having children of their own, if you are not careful, it can also fuel a person's self-doubt.

It can bring up questions like, "am I good enough?", "what is wrong with me?", "why am I not where they are at?" I would be lying if I said that I have never thought or felt these things, but here's the thing: you are good enough, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you, and their path is not your path; you will get there when you get there.

Those things are so important to remember in times when you begin to doubt yourself or your worth.

Believe me, you are good enough, there is nothing wrong with you, and that is not the path you need to be on at the moment. This is a great time for you to focus on you and the things you want out of life. What are your goals? What is on your bucket list? Just because you don't have the things your friends have, doesn't make your life any less fulfilled than theirs is. Your life is just as wonderful and fulfilling as theirs is, just in different ways.

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