We need to pop our political bubbles

So frequently, we find ourselves caught up in our own little world, or bubble. We surround ourselves with things that we enjoy, activities that entertain us and people that are like-minded. Very rarely do we go outside of our bubbles and explore the things beyond it. The problem with the fear of venturing outside of our comfort zones is that we never expose ourselves to things that will challenge us and force us to think differently about what we believe.

I am not going to hide what I believe. I lean more on the liberal side of social issues but am fiscally conservative. Because of this, I do not identify with any one political party. Many of my friends are very liberal and my parents are staunchly conservative, so I can see firsthand the reality of our polarized world.

Radio stations and publications may claim to be neutral, but this is rarely true. We have found ourselves in a constant battle between liberal and conservative, and neither side can talk to each other without it turning into an argument. You have seen it: political debates where the people speaking just wind up arguing and it eventually turns into an “I’m right and you are wrong” argument– a finger-pointing chaos.

The problem that comes with our nation’s polarization is that we can no longer talk to each other. We have become hypersensitive to what we say and, because of that, are unable to have conversations. The thing is, seeing the position of the other side in an argument is essential in order to actually be able to have any sort of discussion. You can not have a conversation with somebody if you refuse to even acknowledge their viewpoint.

As a society, we need to start having conversations with people who do not believe what we do because this will allow us to understand where the opposing party is coming from. We need to have conversations with both liberal and conservative people so that we understand why each side believes what they do, so that we can make more informed decisions about what we choose to stand for.

It is not going to take much for us to have this conversation. We just need to enter into it with open minds knowing that we are not going to blame the other person for what they believe in. Instead, pick their brain and make them defend what they are saying so that you discover the reason why they believe a certain way.

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