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Monday, May 2, 2016

Can't we all just get along?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

It seems that we've all been fighting lately. Not the sibling my-Barbie's-hair-wasn't-blue-yesterday kind of fighting that makes a really great story years down the road. We've gotten mean. If someone doesn't believe the same way politically/morally/spiritually, the options have been narrowed down to either a) don't bring up the touchy subjects, or b) don't talk to them at all.

Now, of the two options, I'm a fan of option A, but how far are we willing to take it? We're in an age of greater internal diversity than ever before. We have thousands of opinions at our fingertips. We can find any philosophy or religion with a simple Google search. We can even create our own with the click of a mouse.

On some level, I may have been under the impression that this would spark some great discussions. Now that we have all of this information, everyone can be well- informed, and we can sit down together and have amazing, thought-provoking discussions.

Apparently, my utopia lies somewhere between The Dead Poet's Society and TED.

But, in the past few years, I've found the opposite to be true. Now that we have all of this information, we've become overwhelmed. In fact, we're not willing to read more than about six inches of text at a time, about what will fit on a standard web page without having to scroll the mouse down.

What I find the funniest about this is that, even though many of us haven't read the information, we still have an opinion on it because it's accessible. For years I'd been hearing how Charles Darwin hates Christianity, and how, because of him, evolution is anti-creationism. Last year I finally had enough of it all, to the point that I went out and bought a copy of "Origin of the Species" for myself. I haven't gotten very far yet, but in the few pages that I read I can tell you that Darwin doesn't even care about evolution.

And I know there are others out there like me: we hate not knowing the information. We scroll the mouse down because there might be a fact at the bottom that completely changes the argument. We like having the ability to back our opinions up.

And this is why I will be reading up on every political candidate that runs for office, regardless of which party they represent. This is why I will read every book that makes major media news, regardless of the content.

I would rather argue with someone who has a different opinion, and be proven wrong because of the way they back up their argument, than prove them wrong because I was the only one who could back up mine.

My thinking is that if this were to happen, that we would find a level of respect for each other that didn't currently exist. Even though there may be more arguments, we wouldn't take them personally, and we wouldn't have to avoid bringing up topics because of what they might become.

Kate Padilla