Many kids hear the word politics or something that has to do with the political sphere and do either one of two things - instantly stop listening or become overly defensive. Now I’m not writing this to change your opinions or values, and I’m definitely not writing this to change your political affiliation. Instead, I’m writing this because I find it very important that the world’s future generations learn to shape their own beliefs and values and learn to listen to those that disagree.
Kids look to their parents, friends, and peers as examples of how to behave. However, they also look towards others to figure out what to believe. Generally, most households, schools, and communities offer one resounding viewpoint in regards to politics and real-world issues. Whether the environment is conservative, liberal, or moderate - it still usually has one exclusive viewpoint.
In an age of personalized news feeds, we become narrow-minded at such a young age. We complain about adults not compromising and not considering other points of view, yet they too probably grew up in a family with one strong political viewpoint. Even further, we, as human beings, become defensive of our views quickly because we have grown up living with them. Just as if a bully picked on our little sister, we feel attacked on a personal level. However, this is not an excuse. We need to change. Right now in America, people's lives are being disrupted by a lack of compromise and consideration by different groups of leaders. This isn't fair.
I believe that what is essential for the future is that we, as young people, start to change. In the future, we need to teach our children that people have different views and that it is okay. But most importantly, we need to learn that starting now, if someone has a different political stance, we shouldn’t become defensive or aggressive and we definitely shouldn’t stop listening. Instead, we need to listen, talk, and stay grounded. We don’t need to forcefully change everyone’s viewpoints so they match our own. We need to spread beliefs and messages that are important to us and convince others to listen through genuine conversations. If this happens our world will indeed become a more united place.