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Isra is
Noodle Expert Member

January 24, 2020

                                (Image via Unsplash)The past two weeks have been stuffed full of politically charged discussion, with the new abortion bills in Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, K

(Image via Unsplash)

The past two weeks have been stuffed full of politically charged discussion, with the new abortion bills in Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio taking center of a very controversial debate. Not only are those policies drawing attention, but there is the seemingly never-ending investigation into numerous activities allegedly performed by President Donald Trump and those employed by him. All of the events currently shaping our country have not only left an impact on the government, but in the personal relationships of Americans as well. Inevitably, when political opinions clash between friends, the results are rarely pretty.

Living in an area that shares your political values can lead to a very distinct breed of shock when a contrasting opinion is voiced. As restrictions were placed upon abortion in many southern states, a flurry of posts pronouncing support for a woman’s right to reproductive decisions bombarded my feed, and all I could feel was pride in my friends and peers voicing their opinions on an issue that was so often swept under the rug for fear of someone’s feelings being hurt. It made me incredibly happy, but what brought me down from that high was discovering that some of the people I knew, people I had shared laughs and deep existential discussions with, did not support my opinion.

My findings pushed me to question if political initiatives were topics I ever wanted to bring up when a potential friend entered my social circle. However, as I thought more about this quandary, I couldn’t help but realize that, despite its ability to make conversations awkward, politics always provided crucial context as to who I was spending my time with.

While it may seem overly sensitive to place such an importance on one aspect of a person’s beliefs,  knowing a person’s politics gave me insight into the real values of potential pals. Maybe not their actual political leanings, but the way they handle opinions that differ from their own.

Further inquiry has led me to believe that some people just aren’t equipped to handle values that drastically differ from their own, and dissimilar opinions aren’t inherently problematic. If you don’t want to keep someone in your life because they seem to hold you to a lower standard just for your beliefs on a particular subject, do the right by you and teach them to deal with it. The best course of action a person can undertake is to open up a cordial discussion and find amicable ways to aid the other side in understanding their reasons for believing.

Soon after my discovery, discourse ensued. Overall, it was far from an enjoyable experience. The words coming out of their mouths made me livid and turned up the heat under the boiling vat of emotions I had been keeping inside regarding this specific topic of conversation.

There are always going to be individuals you can never sympathize with no matter how hard you try; people you never want to see in positions of transformative authority because you know it won’t bode well with those that share your beliefs. This is a perfectly understandable concern, but blind and cantankerous revulsion is not a valid response. Our current system fails when everyone refuses to acknowledge the emotions and feelings that drive each argument, deepening interpersonal divides ever further. So next time you find yourself struggling to accept another viewpoint, try thinking of the rationale that argument stems from.

(Image via Unsplash)

It is always important to know who the people you surround yourself with, and whether or not politics play a large role in your life, the prevalence of today’s political disagreements makes open discussion critical.

So maybe next time, instead of cutting someone off or refusing to care, be the one to start the conversation and grow to understand more of the world.