Disclaimer: This isn’t an opinion piece, but rather, an encouragement piece. Because the most unexpected epiphany I’ve stumbled upon this election season is not, Oh the bigotry! but rather, Oh the power of social circles.
The grave misunderstanding our society propagates through likes and shares and double-taps, is that majority opinion holds accuracy. We seek validation through the support of our peers. But at what point did endorsement translate to the verification of truth?
In fact, we’re so desperate to stay P.C. and H.R.-compliant that we, as a society, have become comically terrified of controversy. We double-tap a selfie, not because we agree with it, but because we want to show support.
We keep our mouths shut. We don’t want to be labeled as “One of Those People” who get into arguments on Facebook. Instead we choose to state our beliefs anonymously in the comments section of an unassuming social media account. Actually, I don’t even have the balls/desire to do that. I’d rather state my beliefs among others who feel the same way I do.
But I want to bring awareness to this, and I urge you to look at your own beliefs – what don’t you question? What do you believe that you fear to have challenged?
It’s like being submerged in a pool of like-mindedness with no need to come up for air. No need to block out the opposing propaganda, your ears are already full with the supporting chorus around you.
Like-mindedness which then goes on to foster ignorance and propagate fear of the unknown.
What’s above the water line? There’s no need to find out.
As a result, the fear grows substantially bigger with each passing moment as we cluster closer and closer together. The internet was supposed to bring us closer together, to shed light on important issues. Instead we implement filters and subscribe to what we already know to be true.
Recently I was at a dinner party and every single one of us had a different point of view on the election. Pro-Hilary, Pro-Trump, two didn’t believe in voting, one didn’t know, one didn’t like Trump but worried about the country’s security with a woman in charge.
I don’t agree with the bulk of them, but I loved them for having and expressing opionions. At the end of the day, our voting values lie in personal experience and the only way to grow… is to have more experiences.
Despite societal norms, it’s conversations and debates that bring about truth. Actual debates – a device sorely missing from this year’s election. The banters between Trump and Hillary were more like two toddlers vying for one plastic dinosaur toy.
Meanwhile, contradiction is what makes you think. At the end of it, you either come to another conclusion, or your previous opinions are strengthened.
I am a liberal the same way I am a Christian. My goal in life is to support people. My coworkers, my friends, my elders, my family, the successful, the struggling, the immigrants, the citizens, the refugees, the poor, the independent business owners, the corporate sell outs, the creatives, the mathematicals, the scientists. IT DOESN’T MATTER.
I want to hear all the ways in which I, as an individual, can support people. Enlighten me.
But I sincerely hope that you, Dear Reader, will seek enlightenment yourself. Perhaps it’s this individual pursuit of knowledge that will change how we do things the next time we have an opportunity to vote.