‘We need that respect back’

Everyone’s views should be accepted

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For my entire life, I have watched grown adults completely destroy their relationships with others over differing political opinions, and it’s sad. 

The conceived notion that people must only associate themselves with others who think the exact same way they do is ridiculous, and it needs to end.

Indiana State Senator Greg Taylor once told me that if I’m only friends with kids who look and think just like me, I’m learning absolutely nothing from that friendship. 

Now, I am nowhere near a perfect person, and I have been guilty of only being friends with people who think similar to me. I even catch myself judging others based on their known political opinion before I’ve even talked to the person. 

This division between people has become the new normal. Liberals calling conservatives “uneducated,” “old-fashioned” and “bigots.” Conservatives calling liberals “snowflakes,” “radical,” and also “uneducated.” All of this needs to stop. 

According to Pew Research, 27% of Democrats thought that the Republican party was a threat to the nation’s well-being and 38% of Republicans thought the same about Democrats in 2014. 

Ironically, both sides think the exact same thing about the other. This is very concerning. That’s a huge number of people who genuinely believe the other side is an actual threat to our society. When in reality, the only threat to society is this belief itself. 

I have no idea when we as a people lost the ability to simply respect each other as human beings, despite differing opinions. But we need that respect back. 

I think it’s pretty common knowledge that I’m an individual with more left-sided opinions about politics and social issues, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t get along or even have strong relationships with people who think completely opposite from me. After all, these opinions are hardly even a sliver of who a person really is. 

So, let’s stop only paying attention to which side someone would vote for and start paying attention to who they really are. Let’s heal the damage we’ve done to society.