We’re two individuals who needs to be enemies. Whereas we’re each school college students, considered one of us is a liberal and the opposite a conservative. We agree on nothing politically — nearly a assured catastrophe nowadays. However we’re proof that this doesn’t should be the case. We met in highschool, joined the identical golf equipment, spoke on panels collectively, organized occasions across the prevention of youth suicide and drug abuse collectively and customarily interacted as colleagues and buddies.
Nevertheless, as we grew and began to kind opinions and concepts concerning the function of presidency and different political points, we noticed a noticeable change in what we began to agree on. There was quickly nowhere we might discover frequent floor politically.
We had been in the identical place the place many buddies, neighbors and households discover themselves in as we speak’s world of polarization, rancor and distrust. However, the one factor that by no means faltered in our friendship was mutual respect. Whether or not it was regarding voting rights, training, election integrity, abortion and LGBTQ+ rights, our conversations had been by no means private.
We perceive that one another’s opinion is simply that — one opinion — and people opinions don’t absolutely outline that particular person. Yelling, slinging insults or getting in somebody’s face isn’t going to make them magically agree with you. The objective of our discussions isn’t to alter the opposite particular person’s thoughts. Quite, we try to problem one another and study from one another. Certainly, conversations with individuals who don’t agree with you’re useful. They may give you a perspective that we’d could have heard in any other case.
We come from totally different religions, cultures, sexualities and genders. Throughout our conversations we’ve got all the time revered one another’s identities and by no means made one another afraid to embrace who we’re. Once you’re in a bubble and refuse to acknowledge one other perspective, what sort of constructive argument can you’ve?
It took some time for each of us to come back to this realization, however we didn’t surrender on our friendship. Fortunately, we had been in a position to strengthen our relationship with somebody whom we had been snug disagreeing.
We see this as a central downside with as we speak’s political local weather: It’s nearly unattainable to disagree with somebody with out making accusations. It has turn into taboo to speak about what you imagine and who you voted for, however this contentiousness is stopping folks from speaking to others who can present perception and understanding of why somebody believes what they do.
As two individuals who have turn into more and more politically lively over time, we’ve got turn into snug with discussions like these. What we each discover, although, is that an growing variety of persons are straying away from respect and decency.
That is widening the divide on this nation. If somebody doesn’t agree with you, you don’t have to right away blow a gasket. What sort of future will we’ve got if everybody believes they’re appropriate and refuses to acknowledge totally different views?
We’re involved with the place our politics will take us as a society if we keep on the present path. However our technology alone can not repair the issue. We have to sort out this downside collectively. This is a matter that we’re all going through. We aren’t good; we’re nonetheless engaged on being higher folks and higher Individuals, however we received’t let petty arguments destroy our friendship.
We hope extra Individuals will undertake this angle. We have to respect one another’s proper to have totally different opinions. If we are able to do it, you’ll be able to too.
Muhammed Smidi is a sophomore at Oakland College majoring in mechanical engineering and political science. Katie Kraemer a sophomore at Oakland College majoring in studio artwork.