It's Time To Practice Understanding

It's Time To Practice Understanding

Our country needs to move past hatred and intolerance.


A lot of times, when people talk about other groups of people or their traditions, beliefs, and practices, their hatred or intolerance tends to stem from them not understanding these differences. Often times, people who don't experience any persecution or aren't denied any privilege say that they "just don't get it" when it comes to minorities of any kind.

If everyone were to be open-minded and willing to give the time of day to someone different than themselves, real change would be possible. Dismissing someone different than you on the grounds that you "don't understand" them isn't acceptable. If we desire to have a world where people no longer die from hate, we must do everything in our power to practice love.

To the woman at the March For Life: do not hate the woman who got an abortion. Consider her situation with compassion. Maybe she was a victim of sexual assault. Maybe she comes from an abusive household. Maybe she is too young. Maybe she made a mistake. If you were to try to understand why she made the choice she did, instead of yelling hateful things, we would be able to bridge the gap between the two sides and not only acknowledge the difference in opinion but go deeper to understand it.

To the man who insists that he will practice his toxic masculinity in response to the Gillette ad: instead of blindly and ignorantly reacting to an ad that had the best of intentions, try looking at it from a point of understanding. They are encouraging men to do the right thing in many situations where some may not. Instead of immediately getting angry, think about why the ad made you angry. Think about the people affected by the situations portrayed in the ad.

To the church who speaks out against LGBT+ people and doesn't welcome them the way, they welcome straight people: insisting that LGBT+ people made a choice to live and act the way they do and shutting them out won't help you reach them. Isn't the goal of the church to reach, love, and accept? Shunning entire groups of people is bad enough, but denying them of the love that the very creator of your religion says everyone deserves is just heartbreaking. The best way to love and evangelize is to understand and be open.

To the MAGA sporting, "build that wall" chanting Trump supporters: for once, think of the people who you are standing against. It's pretty much everyone but yourself. It's blacks, it's Muslims, it's LGBT+, it's women, it's immigrants, it's Native Americans...the list goes on. Instead of trying to shut all these people out, or attempting to control their lives and bodies, maybe consider the ways that they differ from you and why your way of life won't work for everyone who isn't like you. If you're going to stand for change, stand for change that benefits everyone. Not just you. Your life won't become any easier because the people around you will only suffer more. If you want to thrive, you have to give others the opportunity to thrive too. Don't blindly follow your parents, your president, your friends, your mentors - ask questions. Think about the policies that they chant for that ruin the lives of others. Understand that this isn't okay.

If we want to live in a world where equality and justice are at the front and center of our society, we have to start with understanding. Understand your privilege. Overcome your ignorance. Love your neighbors, no matter how different they may be.

Popular Right Now

Please Spare Me From The Three Months Of Summer Break When People Revert Back To High Schoolers

They look forward to swapping stories with their friends at the local diner, walking around their old high school with a weird sense of superiority, and reminiscing their pre-college lives.


I know a surprising amount of people who actually couldn't wait to go home for the summer. They look forward to swapping stories with their friends at the local diner, walking around their old high school with a weird sense of superiority, and reminiscing their pre-college lives.

Me? Not so much. I don't mean to sound bitter. It's probably really comforting to return to a town where everyone knows your name, where your younger friends want you around to do their prom makeup, and where you can walk through Target without hiding in the deodorant aisle. But because I did this really annoying thing where my personality didn't really develop and my social anxiety didn't really loosen its grip on me until college, I have a very limited number of people to return to.

If you asked someone from my high school about Julia Bond, they would probably describe her as shy, studious, and uptight. I distinctly remember being afraid of people who JUULed (did you get high from it? was it illegal? could I secondhand smoke it and get lung cancer?) and crying over Algebra 1 in study hall (because nothing says fun and friendly like mascara steaks and furious scribbling in the back corner while everyone else throws paper airplanes and plays PubG Mobile).

I like to tell my college friends that if I met High School Julia, I would beat her up. I would like to think I could, even though I go to the gym now a third of the time I did then. It's not that it was High School Julia's fault that she closed herself off to everyone. She had a crippling fear of getting a B and an even worse fear of other people. But because she was so introverted and scared, College Julia has nothing to do but re-watch "The Office" for the 23rd time when she comes back.

Part of me is jealous of the people who came into their own before college. I see pictures of the same big friend groups I envied from a distance in high school, all their smiling faces at each other's college football games and pool parties and beach trips, and it makes me sad that I missed out on so many friendships because I was too scared to put myself out there. That part of me really, really wishes I had done things differently.

But a bigger, more confident part of me is really glad I had that experience. Foremost, everything I've gone through has shaped me. I mean, I hid in the freaking bathroom during lunch for the first two weeks of my freshman year of high school. I never got up to sharpen my pencil because I was scared people would talk about me. I couldn't even eat in front of people because I was so overwhelmingly self-conscious. I remember getting so sick at cross country practice because I ran four or five miles on an empty stomach.

Now, I look back and cringe at the ridiculousness because I've grown so much since then. Sure, I still have my quirks and I'm sure a year from now I'll write an article about what a weirdo Freshman Julia was. But I can tell who had the same experience as me. I can tell who was lonely in high school because they talk to the kids on my floor that study by themselves. I can tell who was afraid of speaking up because they listen so well. I can tell who was without a friend group because they stand by me when others don't. I can tell who hated high school, because it's obvious that they've never been as happy as they are now.

My dislike for high school, while inconvenient for this summer, might be one of the best things to happen to me. I learned how to overcome my fears, how to be independent, and how to make myself happy. I never belonged in high school, and that's why I will never take for granted where I belong here at Rutgers.

So maybe I don't have any prom pictures with a bunch of colorful dresses in a row, and maybe I didn't go to as many football games as I should have. Maybe I would've liked pep rallies, and maybe I missed out on senior week at the beach. But if I had experienced high school differently, I wouldn't be who I am today.

I wouldn't pinch myself daily because I still can't believe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I wouldn't smile so hard every time I come back from class and hear my floormates calling me from the lounge.

I wouldn't well up when my roommate leaves Famous Amos cookies on my desk before a midterm, or know how to help the girl having a panic attack next to me before a final, or hear my mom tell my dad she's never seen me this happy before.

If I had loved high school, I wouldn't realize how amazing I have it in college. So amazing, in fact, that I never want to go home.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

It’s Okay To Be Vulnerable

Vulnerability Is Not A Bad Thing.


One of the scariest things in the world is vulnerability. Letting someone is and allowing them to know what's going on can be absolutely terrifying, but life is a lot harder when you're doing it alone. Now let's just get on with thing clear, vulnerability is very much a struggle for the writer of this blog.

I've always kept what's going on to myself because I didn't want my burdens to become burdens for those around me and I have trusted people before and completely was robbed of it. Over the years of struggles with anxiety and depression, I've learned that holding it in and not being vulnerable is one of the most unhealthy things you can do and makes everything so much worse. The good thing about being vulnerable isn't that you get to choose who's you're vulnerable with.

You don't have to be vulnerable with everyone, but you need to be vulnerable with someone. People were placed in your life for a purpose and there are people around you who do care and who want to be let in. Don't hold back when it comes to those who care about you most. Vulnerability is a hard thing to face, but it is an amazing thing to allow yourself to face.

Vulnerability breaks down barriers, helps you find your own inner strength and brings you closer to the ones who want to build that relationship with you. Vulnerability with the wrong person sucks, but vulnerability with the right person is amazing. Don't let the bad that came from the vulnerability with the wrong person stop you from being vulnerable with the right person. That person that has been with you through it all, that person that loves you for you and not what you can offer them, that person that wants the absolute best for you and challenges you to be the absolute best, that's the right person, that's the person to be vulnerable with.

Open up and talk because people want to listen.


Related Content

Facebook Comments