Young adults should be able to speak about personal views

It is scary to think that the holiday season is a few short months away and soon turkeys, Christmas music and cold weather will be upon us. Of course only one thing could turn such joyous events into horrendous ones – family discussion. They talk about Great Aunt Cindy’s health, what Joan whispered at Mojos, and then Uncle Bill brings up gun rights and it all goes downhill. Awkward teenagers sit in the corner and observe the incredibly opinionated and stubborn beliefs. Everyone hates each other by the end of the lunch so instead of discussing their beliefs and faith with friends and family, people keep to themselves, or worse, do not even think about them.

Do not worry, this will not turn into a written plea for everyone to join Christianity so keep reading. Instead, a plea to define individual beliefs, tolerate others for theirs and to enter the conversation with coworkers and fellow students.

According to historically famous psychologists Kohlberg and Piaget, now is the prime time for the brain to take what is happening in life and form its independent understandings. One of the best ways to form independent thoughts is (ironically) listening to others. Ask questions. Research and investigate. Do not just take after parent’s and peer’s ideology’s but learn about every form of religion and then dig deeper. Find out about every break off denomination of that form of religion. Keep an open mind when looking at politics and see both sides of the argument, without a swayed mind. Most importantly, just because a stance is more conservative does not make it a hick stance and vise versa.

Now that a personal opinion has been formed, here comes the hard part, understanding others’ beliefs and why they believe them. According to Oxford Dictionary the definition of “truth” is the quality or state of being true. The word “truth” is seen as being non-negotiable but the real “truth” is that everyone has their own truths. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. To them, the existence of Buddha could be an undeniable truth while contrasting atheist beliefs deny all gods.

This being said, it is still important to talk to others with opposing beliefs and morals. Understanding their ways can help form respect of other beliefs and strengthen individual ones. Today prejudice and stereotypes plague thoughts and actions. People see a hijab and automatically see a terrorist. They hear the scary word “feminism” and think of psychotic girls on twitter. Author and speaker Dani Tietjen, said that “stereotypes help us make connections but it is an adolescent approach to stay there.” Stereotypes may be needed at times. However, getting past them is a necessity in order to really understand and respect a group of people. Conversation is a great way to do this.

Personality and life decisions are based off of beliefs so find personal views, respect those of opposing conclusions, and do not be afraid of confrontation and discussion. Without convictions, where would the world be?

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