Americans Need a Good Look in the Mirror


Friday, August 3, 2018

Yes you read that headline correctly. Americans need to take a good look in the mirror.

We Americans are making everything about politics these days and we are deleting people from our lives just because they think a certain way. In other words, Americans are putting political beliefs first instead of values. As Americans, we need to look in the mirror and reflect on who we are and what our values are as individuals.

When you look at yourself in the mirror you see a reflection of yourself, and make physical changes to make yourself look better. Well Americans need a good look in the mirror and see if the person that is looking back at them is the person they want to be. This isn’t just people on left that need a hard look, but also people on the right. We all see it on social media where people attack people they don’t know over politics. Someone’s political beliefs are a small part of who someone is; the bigger part of a person is what their values are.  

People need to read what they say on social media and see if what they are posting is a reflection of who they are and what their values are. If the post is something that doesn’t reflect who you are as the person you are in real life, then don’t post it. A good rule to live by on social media is if you wouldn’t say it in person, then don’t say it at all. Just because you are able to hide behind a keyboard, doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do.

I recently saw a video by Paul Joseph Watson about families disowning family members because of their political beliefs. This is a problem because families are always supposed to stick together through the great times and the bad times. If you are disowning family members over their beliefs, then there is a bigger problem that you have and, by cutting important people out of your life, you end up removing people from your life that could make a positive impact on your life.

It is important to have strong family values because each member of your family is different and they offer something different to you that could benefit your life. When having a two parent household, you can benefit a lot from what each parent offers. Since a mom and dad are two different people, they both offer life advice from different backgrounds since they have gone through everything that we have been through and are able to share their experiences.

I could sit here and list facts, but I believe when it comes to families the most important thing to take into consideration is the human element, and the best way for parents to help their kids is to try and provide a better life for their kids. The best way to do that is to talk about past experiences in life and to explain what was learned from those experiences. Breaking up families or ending relationships with people over different beliefs can end up hurting yourself more than you are hurting the people that don’t agree with you.

The best way to learn about someone is to talk to them in person and learn about them. Ask questions about what their values are and what their favorite hobbies are. You could learn you have a lot in common with someone who is on the other side of the aisle. This narrow minded way of thinking is going to keep this divide in America. People on both the left and right need to communicate and learn about each other and what their life values are. You might just learn something new or make a new friend you thought you would never be friends with.  

I have personal experience in making friends with many people on left because I was a Graphic Design major in college. A lot of our work was politically motivated and I have made some political pieces. I have made a lot of pro-violent video game pieces for my interactive design class. My piece on pro violent video games was clips of me playing Call of Duty Black Ops 3 and explaining how me playing Call of Duty doesn’t make me violent person. The response from my classmates was positive, since I talked about how I used to play competitive Call of Duty during Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops 2 as well as showing how there is no correlation between playing Call of Duty and becoming a murder. The reception I got was positive from my professor and peers.

One question I got was about why members of Congress want to blame the video games. I responded with how both Democrats and Republicans look to blame things to push their own agenda when in fact blaming the millions of people that play Call of Duty for the actions of one individual is unfair judgement. But one guy who I got along with well and would work in the studio with all the time made his series on a lot of the left talking points and, during critiques, I would add opinions that could open up discussions and not verbal arguments. I remember one piece he did on how women are judged on their weight for dating, which I asked about when men get discriminated in the dating world for not being six feet tall. It did lead to a discussion on double standards and, if he was to continue his series on injustices, he would add more about double standards and my question about females discriminating against men because of their height did open a lot of my other classmates minds about double standards.

What I took away from my experience as a graphic design major is that you can have friends that you don’t agree with politically and you can still get along and have meaningful discussions about certain topics.

On top of my story, Dave Rubin is an example of someone who is liberal and some of his friends are conservative. In a video where Rubin and Shapiro discuss abortion, I noticed how they both do not agree with each other at all. The video proves how you can disagree with someone and still have a productive discussion about topics that two or more people do not agree on. What makes their friendship successful is how they are able to listen to each other and have an open mind.  

When these two talk to each other, there is no name calling and no interrupting.  If we all could learn to talk to each other the way Rubin and Shapiro talk to each other, then we could have more meaningful discussions and we also could learn a thing or two that could change our opinion on something.

By looking the mirror, Americans are able to reflect on who we are as individuals and if the person we see is someone we like or don’t like. It gives us a chance to change ourselves before we are able to change others. We shouldn’t be deleting people from our lives because of their political beliefs. If changes are going to be ever be made in this country, it starts at the bottom; with ourselves as individuals.

I issue a challenge to everyone who reads this: Go up to someone new and try to become friend’s with that new person. Try to find common ground with that person, whether it is sports, food, or hobbies. You’ll be surprised what kind of people you will meet and that they may have a lot in common with you.

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About Harrison Dunayer

Towson University

Harrison is a recent graduate of Towson University. Currently, Harrison is a freelance Graphic Designer who wants to open his own design firm. Harrison is an avid golfer, a gym rat, and avid sports fan.

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