As teenagers, we have lived through a pandemic, an insurrection, the police betrayed the community they were supposed to protect, and much more. Every issue these days seems to be separated by black and white, well, more like red and blue. Every issue is two sided, and sides are getting more aggressive and more divided.
My first awakening to this behavior was walking downtown in Boise when a gaggle of Trump supporters yelled at me telling me it was a free country and I could take my mask off. The irony of this moment will never leave me, due to the fact that I could wear my mask because it is a “free” country. So I spend a lot of time contemplating how absolutely insane things are right now.
Bodily autonomy, Covid-19, Russia and Ukraine, “Critical Race Theory”, guns, etc. Every choice you make leads to one side or the other. With nothing in the middle to hold the United States unites. It is saddening to watch before our very eyes what’s happening in America. There was an entire insurrection that the President at the time met with enthusiasm and encouraged. The first time that a leader supported a rebellion since the Revolutionary War.
We need to still remember to be united; we are all Americans. We have to be able to have ideas and opinions without violence. Of course there are some things I will never agree with people on, but I still want to understand the other side of the aisle.
We need to make sure that we are still hearing other people’s differing opinions. We are surrounding ourselves in bubbles where everyone agrees with us. This makes us feel defensive and like our opinions are the only ones that can be correct. We feed each other compliments on our opinions and gang up on those who disagree with us. This leads to extreme separation and division between people.
Although surrounding yourself with an echo chamber is an amazing ego boost, it is detrimental to the health of America and to the maturity of the population to break out of the bubble. Ways to do this are asking why someone thinks the way they do, understand what they are thinking as well as you can, read other news sources that may give us a differing denotation that what we are used to.
It is ok to not be ok with people’s opinions and not change your own, but it is important to listen to people and understand them first. Making snap judgements will not help us accomplish what we want in life. We need to understand others and sometimes make compromises between each other. With as many U.S. History classes that we’ve taken, you would think people would remember that our government and Constitution were built on compromises.