Let youths read, listen, think, and form opinions— exclusively in that order
It has been said that we all have an opinion. But is that really true?
Think about your own perspectives. What made you see things the way you do? How do you determine whether something is wrong or right? Perhaps you’re finding yourself admitting that you were solely influenced by someone’s else’s thoughts, or refuse to acknowledge the various items of controversy floating around the world.
One thing is for certain: the current state of the media, especially when dealing with the topics of election, President Trump, and any political happenings for that matter, everyone seems to be against each other. This year has been historically outrageous in terms of America’s future and Trump’s recent executive declarations. And no matter what side of the situations– Trump’s travel ban, for instance– you support, chances are you have had someone trying to shove their opinion down your throat at one time or another.
Unfortunately, everyone’s ardent feelings and arguments among each other have corrupted some newscasts, making it even more difficult to sift through the glimmers of truth between lies. The New York Times has commented on the matter of fake news regarding President Trump, when they highlighted a false news thread that told of buses full of Trump protestors congregating in Austin, Texas, calling attention to the instances where the news would rather be quick than correct. Since when has the task of distributing facts to every citizen become a competition?
Sometimes tuning into the news and hearing politicians and anchors jabber makes us feel like we are being run through a washing machine while trying to seek out two socks that actually match. The churning of opinions leaves us dizzy and aching from the whiplash. What’s the point of taking a stance when you’re not even certain the ground you’re standing on is stable?
But the worst thing we can do is turn away. It is our duty to read, listen, and dig deeper into these controversies that plague the media. Unfortunately, this is no easy task, but anything worth having has never come free. The world has a habit of constantly reminding its occupants that they are no more than a speck floating around in the same general area. And although there may be no Horton to help you out, you do have the power to be heard.
So make your own opinion, do not be forced to choke on someone else’s. But before you do that, take the time to learn. Give an effort to listen, to explore and debate. Second guess and speculate. This is the time to think for yourself.
Practice having respect for the viewpoints of others. Do not let your digging turn into a rampage, smashing down people’s different opinions along the way; this idea that there is a single evil acting against our country and that must be eradicated is toxic. What will adopting a populist view, taking aim against a single minority or character and deeming them as a recipient for hatred, ultimately going to solve? Will denying seven countries any access to the United States stop terrorism? Or will tax reductions help the middle class economy? Are these statements even true and backed up by the proper facts? These are the things you must determine for yourself, which isn’t a black and white, true or false process. The key is to have an open mind and remember we are all in this together, one way or another.
And honestly, maybe you won’t find the right answer.
But I promise, the insecurity and shots fired at you along the way will never outweigh the things you will discover about yourself and your beliefs.