This is an age of highly staunch opinions, unwavering positions, and extreme tension when it comes to opposing points of view. Whether the topic of conversation is about the 2016 Presidential Election or a particular social issue, opinions seem as though they could not be more polarized. While having differing opinions is all well and good and a natural part of life, there is a certain problem in the way in which people react to hearing an opinion that does not coincide with their own. In society, it seems as though we listen to opposing points of view simply to reply to them, not to really consider or respect them.
That is not to say that everyone is guilty of this, but it is certainly an increasing reaction in this modern age. For example, this year's Presidential Election epitomizes the scenario in which people simply listen to reply and not consider the opposing point of view. Regardless of who you plan to support, the way in which you approach the argument has the potential to enable discussion, understanding, and most importantly, respect. Throughout the course of the campaign season, and more recently in the two debates, the American public has watched the two candidates constantly smear one another with negative comments and jabs regarding anything negative that they can think of. If we can take anything away from the conclusion of those debates, it is that there is a more respectful, mature, and professional way to go about responding to someone that has opposing points of view.
Even if two people have completely different points of view regarding any particular issue, it is still possible to show understanding and respect towards them. Understandably, people typically stand firm and unwavering in regard to what they believe. There are many positive things to be said for this. However, when you refuse to recognize and respect the fact that not everyone shares the same opinion that you do, problems will surely arise.
Words matter and they have an incredible power over many people. Having differences of opinion with those around you is natural, particularly when it comes to political stances. However, it is important and necessary that whenever differences are being discussed, that respect and understanding be shown towards one another. Respect and understanding of differences have the potential to go an extremely long way in regard to helping improve relations in the United States overall. I believe, in general, we too often forget that respect and understanding can change the courses of countless situations.