Agree to Disagree


Jenna Avery

Women voiced their opinions in January 2019 at the Women’s March (Photo courtesy of Jenna Avery).

It’s impossible to read or see anything in today’s society without hearing about all the differing opinions. No matter the topic, people today feel more entitled to their opinions than ever. While it is supposedly acceptable to have an opinion, it’s becoming more difficult to confidently share it.

“It can be really scary to share your opinion. People are so quick to get mad about what other people say. No one should have to explain themselves; we should all be given the courtesy of sharing our opinion freely without judgement,” said freshman Ashley Santiago.

Nowadays, our culture has been overtaken by issues, but more importantly, everyone’s opinions about them. For instance, abortion is extremely controversial and the government has recently been making decisions on the topic. New York passed a law in early 2019 legalizing abortion under certain circumstances. Citizens, both pro-life and pro-choice, have been rallying for their opposing opinions.

“It doesn’t matter what we believe personally. It’s all about respecting everyone’s right to have their own opinion. Issues are only solved when people can discuss issues and listen to one another,” said sophomore Abby McDonald.

People tend to gravitate towards like minded people who share their same opinion when big issues with clear divisions are involved. While this could help both sides build their argument, it also cuts them off from hearing the other point of view. Both viewpoints then lose their ability to respectfully discuss issues with people who do not agree with them.

“A lot of friend groups tend to form from people who all have the same opinions. I think people like being around other people who are similar to themselves because it builds up their self esteem and makes them feel better about themselves. Since most topics today have a supposed right and wrong, people like to surround themselves with similar people to reassure their opinion,” said freshman Alexandria Lee.

Our society has become one made up of people who, above all, look out for themselves. These people build their opinion up and then are completely destroyed when someone disagrees with them. As a society, we decide what is right and then forget that it isn’t a fact; it’s an opinion.

“People are so quick to call others out on their mistakes and flaws, but then turn around and do the same thing. It happens all the time on social media when people make comments about what other people are posting but then they post the same thing,” said freshman Sha’Lera Abercrombie.

Social media is the quickest way for people to voice their opinions. A few weeks ago, a teenage girl posted her opinion on Instagram. She and another high school student went to protest a part of the LGBTQ community that she did not agree with. However, simply because her opinion was radically different than many of her followers, she received thousands of hysterical comments from people who both agreed and disagreed with her opinion.

“While I think that she could have voiced her opinion in a different way, no one had the right to say some of the things they did. People were attacking her religion and her personal beliefs even though they had no right to do so. Everyone has the right to their opinion and no one can take that away. It’s sad that we live in a society where we have to be afraid of the backlash we can get for simply believing in something,” said Santiago.

The people with the strongest opinions are often fanning the flames of modern issues rather than helping to solve them. When people begin to focus more on winning an argument than finding an effective solution to a problem, they become too closed minded to reach an agreement. We are then left with an endless argument in which neither side is willing to compromise.

“The best way to resolve any problem in the human world is for all sides to sit down and talk,” said Dalai Lama.

Modern culture has spiraled out of control. What was meant to be a free country where citizens can speak freely about their beliefs has become a country where only certain opinions are welcome. Many issues are not caused by the fact that we all have different opinions but instead by our inability to respectfully disagree with one another. Our country will continue to be divided against itself unless we begin making an effort to agree to disagree.