Stop Shouting, Start Listening
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Politics and Activism

Stop Shouting, Start Listening

How we can come together in these divisive times.

Stop Shouting, Start Listening

In the past year, if you've paid attention to the news or social media, your confidence in humanity is probably at an all-time low. More recently than ever, there has been a culture of hate and violence surrounding our nation's political climate. Content on social media sets us against each other. Disrespectful discourse is the new norm and our country is more divided than it has ever been.

How can we put down our fists and pick up the olive branch? How can we replace this feeling of division with a sense of unity?

It all starts with listening. We need to stop shouting over each other and start listening to people who disagree with us. Ask questions. I've never understood why political conversation causes so much animosity. One person says something, the other person disagrees and gets offended. It's always a downward spiral. Stop letting your anger get in the way of constructive conversation. Even if you don't agree, what's the point of getting angry? Resorting to attack or anger when you hear something you disagree with only causes resentment, which almost always leads to a hostile standstill. There will be absolutely no progression. You can't fight fire with fire, for everyone ends up getting burned.

If we take a step back and listen to each other, we might learn something new. Being open to different perspectives can present us with something that we have never thought about before, that causes us to contemplate our own views. The world is constantly changing and growing, and so should our perspectives. We've all been different places and had different experiences. Nobody knows everything about everything. Making room for ideas not only makes us more well-rounded individuals, but also paves the way towards coming up with more mutually beneficial solutions.

It is so easy to get caught up in all the details that divide us. We need to remember what unites us as Americans. We are more than our political parties. We are a melting pot of extraordinary individuals with diverse backgrounds and cultures.

This is the very essence of what it means to be an American; although we may be different, we are all connected by this identity. We prosper from our melting pot of ideas and our belief that many different types people can come together to form a united and strong nation. What we need most right now is to remember these shared values and live by them.

Yes, these times are trying. The air is heavy with a sense of division. But we are more than just one single issue. Let's take action. Let's start encouraging each other to engage in open and civil discussion. We need to take individual responsibility to ensure this time in our history is remembered as not only a time of prosperity and strength, but above all else, unity.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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