With this election cycle over, Joe Biden becoming the new President of the United States, many citizens are left wondering how we will recover from such a divisive year. Are we, as the American people, damned to be at each other’s throats for the rest of time? Or will we be able to unify and learn to respect one another again.
During his speech after the inauguration, President Biden spoke, as many have in the past, about the importance of healing as a nation after a turbulent election.
“With unity, we can do great things, important things,” Biden said during his speech, highlighting the division in the US right now.
There are several causes that have led to this division, but the first and foremost has been our inability to communicate and listen to understand another’s perspective.
We live in a world where our view of society is governed by what media we consume. Whether it is through our chosen news networks, or the ever present social media, we choose media that proves what we believe in.
So how do we come out of this funk of misinformation and intolerance?
The answer is simple; we need to listen to each other.
We will not always agree with one another, in fact, it’s better that we do not. Discourse and disagreement is what swings the political pendulum, resulting in progress in a generally positive direction.
It is all too common nowadays to assume everyone is looking at the world through the same lens and seeing different pictures, when in reality, we all view the world through a lens that was designed by ourselves to prove our own opinions.
So what we need to do is try to view the world through other’s lenses. We have to not just seek to understand what other people believe, but why they believe it.
By having open and honest conversations, where the goal is not to “win”, but instead understand a differing opinion is where positive disagreement and conversations that are actually worthwhile take place. Instead of playing Thanksgiving dinner political quip tennis with grandpa, try and understand the root of his beliefs.
Especially as students in the University level, we are in the forming years of our opinions and beliefs. Many of us shift from believing what our parents believed to finding our true thoughts when it comes to the political world. This often happens through open late night dorm conversations with new people from different backgrounds than you.
As we continue our college journey, and subsequently life outside of MNSU, we have to remember to continue to have these conversations, because if we don’t understand those who disagree with us, we will never see an end to the divisive nature of our country right now.
As our new president said in his inauguration address, “For without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury.”