We are better than this. We make up an enormous demographic of the U.S. population. We have unprecedented resources at our fingertips, access to information within seconds, and are preparing to become the leading experts on how to use and improve this technology.
There is an entire world to be seen and we have a desire to explore it. We want to see justice, human dignity, and cooperation at the international level restored. These are noble goals for an ambitious generation, so we need to do things right.
I’m only a 20-year-old college student; I don’t claim to know everything, and hopefully no one ever allows me to make that claim. I’m just a lone conservative attempting to ensure that our generation maintains some sensibility and uses our powers for good.
We have to address the main issues in our collective mindset because they are proving to be terrible obstacles in our quest to better the world. Acceptance, love, and tolerance are necessary for a thriving society, but, in order to use them, we must be able to define these terms correctly.
Acceptance, at its core, is an agreement with or belief in an idea, opinion, or explanation. American citizens and non-citizens alike should strive to maintain a society which upholds the ability for individuals to be accepting of different thoughts and ideas.
However, we need to accept the fact that diversity of thought is not confined to “how much,” or to the degree of which we agree on a certain topic. For example, diversity of thought reaches beyond simply disliking President Trump versus being a “NeverTrumper.” People will have different ideas and thoughts, and they will have different approaches to problems and opinions. We need to accept this uniqueness and the freedom to express it.
Silencing dissenting opinions is not demonstrating acceptance.
Love, first and foremost, is an action. Love is not something we can “spread” easily if we do not first actively love others ourselves. Loving others does not mean agreeing with everything that people do. As a matter of fact, I would argue that loving someone means caring enough about them to tell them when they are harming themselves or others. If you love someone, you want what’s best for them, despite what they may think at the time.
Loving someone can include sacrifice, compromise, and trying something new. However, I believe every thought and idea has the right to be heard and expressed, but that doesn’t mean that you have to adopt those ideas.
It is okay to disagree with someone that you love.
We don’t have to lie to ourselves just to keep discussion civil. Admit when you are wrong.
Our response to dissenting ideas is the perfect time to express our love, kindness, and respect, and this response to dissenting ideas opens the door to the third idea.
Tolerance is a willingness to accept feelings, habits, or beliefs that are different from your own. Tolerance is a tricky subject, and often the most misused in modern society.
Tolerance is not an obligatory adherence to rules and beliefs. On the contrary, tolerance is acknowledging the individuality of each person, and allowing them to express that individualism.
Millennials, along with all Americans, must resist the temptation to condemn their fellow citizens who don’t immediately agree with every thought and idea of those around them. Doing so creates a serious issue of censorship and can hinder innovative, well-meaning thoughts and ideas.
So, my fellow millennials, you know what you need to do. Remove the filters that limit your news to CNN or FOX and acknowledge the fact that not everyone on the “opposite side” is a vile human being.
Hold fast to your beliefs, but remember that you are not the only one who is doing so.
Be open to debate and discussion, hear ideas, and use this conglomerate of thought to find real solutions.
My fellow Millennials, I know we are better than how we have acted in the past.
It’s time to prove it.
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