Saturday, October 21, 2017

how to politically disagree


Feminism. Gender equality. Health care. Climate change. Religion. Racial minorities. 
Votes, elections, and more.

Regardless of what country we live in, political issues have been garnering massive public attention. Two years ago, it had been just that. Politics. But these days, they're trends. Neighbourhood buzz, viral content. 

In every topic from how women choose to dress, all the way to presidential elections, everybody has something to say. You can blame your president, you can blame the media, or immigration laws, or people from a specific racial group. Yet all disagreements seemingly boil down to one conclusion; nobody's right, and nobody wins.

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The world is now a jigsaw puzzle of propagandas. Our opinions become pieces that need to be placed side by side; sometimes we get along, but other times, we can't always form a compatible picture. Everyone fights for influence, for being heard, when in fact, none of us has all the answers.

My purpose of writing this isn't to bombard you with some loaded subjects to analyse. I'm also not going to explain every political issue under the sun and try to reel you into my point of view to agree with me. Rather, I simply hope this affects how you approach politics; to add a little softness to the ruthless nature of how we see it.

As a student living under her parents' roof, I don't normally have much to add to political conversation. As a writer, however, my mind is faced with a question. How do we coexist in a world where no one fully agrees to anything?


1. Stay educated. 
Ignorance is bliss, but it also doesn't get you anywhere. Stay updated with the things happening in your country. It's not "grown-up conversation", it's information that you've been privileged enough to receive. In an era where all that information can be obtained through a click of a button, it's a waste to choose to neglect them.

How you form your opinions is entirely up to you; but without facts, don't be surprised when they're seen as invalid. So read the paper or turn on the news, at least every once in a while. It'll be easier to form healthy discussions when you've already expanded your knowledge beforehand.

2. Learn to listen.
Something I've grown to realise is that sometimes, it's better to be kind than to be right. When you give people a chance and try to understand where they're coming from, it helps you consider their perspective, instead of turning them into total antagonists in your head.

The key is to stop seeing everything in a good guys vs bad guys situation. Subconsciously, we tend to label ourselves the "right" ones of the crowd, and the others "wrong". But who are we to be the judge of that? Who are we to call them "biased", when we're all biased at some point as well? Don't we only read the news we want to read, and agree with the people we want to agree with?

Let us try to look past that line we've created. Try hearing people out the way you'd want to be heard. Ask for the reasons behind their argument, and try to learn from their story. People won't remember you for how well you argued, they'll remember you for listening to what they have to say.

When it comes to politics, it's unlikely we'll ever find middle ground. What we can find, however, is a way for communication. When we learn to finally "agree to disagree" and move on, that's how we cultivate tolerance, and mutual respect. Forget being right; just be a decent human being.

3. Express yourself wisely.
Recognise the power in saying something when it's necessary, but also staying silent when it is not. As important as it is to form a logical opinion, it's equally important to know how, where, and when to express it. To what audience do we want to speak? Will our words do more harm than good?

In today's political climate, social media has clearly become the outlet of choice. It's easy, quick, and greatly accessible. Even I love to write small pieces of thought myself, as a way of urging people to think about certain events and then further reflect on it.

However, don't forget that the Internet is vast and limitless. It's where one man's opinion can send a ripple effect throughout many others'. (While a person's tweet may not do anything, enough retweets can cause an uprising, and enough opposing replies can turn the digital forum into a battlefield.)

Whenever you choose to state your opinion where it wasn't necessarily asked for, you are already at the risk of receiving negative feedback. Learn to understand this, so you don't act completely appalled by the thought of people disagreeing with you after you explain your argument. Do stay authentic, but know that freedom of speech can sometimes come with a cost.


Let me end by saying this clearly; it's okay to be young and also care about politics. It's okay to have an opinion. It's okay to ask questions and have discussions with people who are willing to.

I get it; we all hate that one uncle who talks too much about politics in the family dinner. Also, when you're below 20–and I speak from experience–there's a certain look your friends will give you when you start talking about anything political. "Heavy subjects" cause unease; they're not appropriate for a social setting.

There is a time and place for everything (see #3), but my piece of advice for you, that I hope you can take and remember is, you are never too young to care. You are never too young to make a difference.

Despite being labeled as "the Instagram generation", I challenge you, friends, to be political.

Be aware of what's happening. Acknowledge your leaders, and question how they're using their power. Speak up for the groups of people whose voices are left unheard. You don't need to have a lot of money, or a skyscraper in your name, or even a seat in the government. Just be brave. Use whatever skills and knowledge that you have, and don't settle for social injustice when you see it. You have a say in what happens around you.

When something happens and we find more news breaking the silence, there'll be thousands of voices that erupt. As tempting as it is to raise your voice in a world that's already constantly shouting, know that a righteous, gentle whisper can be worth a lot more than an ignorant speech. Stay principled and virtuous when representing your beliefs. You do have a voice, but use it well.

And that's how you build an impact. That's how change happens.

From within.

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For a closing note, I'd just like to clarify that I wasn't trying to talk like I know everything. 
Because I don't, and nobody does. 
As always, I simply hope this inspired you and helped you reflect.

 Hope to see you around.










10 comments :

  1. I love this post - especially since we voted last weekend. I don't like how things are changing, but you nailed it!
    Lots of love,
    Lena xx

    thefandfclub.blogspot.co.at

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  2. This is well-worded and you're right! I won't hide the fact that I'm conservative leaning, but I feel like the country would do better by just listening to what the other has to say. Very nice post. Thank you for commenting on my blog. To answer, I'd like if we followed each other. I'd love to see more posts from you perspective. :D

    ~Ivie
    iviewrites.blogspot.com

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    1. Totally understand the "conservative leaning" part, though. Being a Christian, it does set you in a certain direction. But I'm glad you caught the message! Thank you so much for reading x

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  3. This was such an interesting and unique post- so well said! It's definitely important to have facts, and I couldn't agree with you more on what you said about listening. It's important to listen, to make sure other people feel as though they are being heard, and to be mindful and open minded of their opinions xx

    Sending light & love your way,
    My Lovelier Days | Bloglovin’

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    Replies
    1. Diana, thank you for always leaving such lovely thoughts! And thanks for reading. Have a good week <3

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  4. I like this post as it is quite different! Great points!

    xx Sofia | SOFIAADOT

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  5. i totally agree with all your points. These are good things to keep in mind.
    http://sugarcoatedbears.blogspot.com/

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  6. This really is a wonderful post - some fantastic advice for those who may have opinions and ideas forming, but struggle to discuss them. There's definitely a 'good' or 'bad' spectrum in much social media debate, with limited space for shades of grey, but listening is key in breaking down barriers to intelligent, informed discussion.

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  7. These are great tips! You never want to burn bridges or make things awkward between other people. At the end of the day disagreements may not matter all that much because opinions are opinions.

    Kim
    simplylovebirds.com

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