New ideas, opinions have value even if not popular

campus editor

Division among people has grown considerably in recent years, and I think there’s merit to that.  

I feel like in modern times, opposing viewpoints have been looked down upon and demonized on the basis that they’re different than the popular opinion. It’s happened quite a bit, and I suppose there’s something about viewing different perspectives as something to be against is kind of ridiculous. 

Many people – mainly on social media because else would this stuff start – have adopted a bit of an “Us vs. Them” mentality. Anyone who thinks differently regarding an issue is obviously deserving of hate and is primed to be the dartboard of which we should collectively hurl said hate at because they dared to say they preferred the Star Wars prequels over the original trilogy or McDonalds chicken nuggets over Burger King’s. 

This line of thinking, this “they disagree with me, so they are my enemy” type of thought is reductive. It’s regressive. Social media, I’d argue, has only amplified this thinking, and said thinking has bled over into real life. There’s been multiple instances in which people have had horrible slurs and demeaning things said about them because they dared to think outside of the common mindset. 

Frans Johannson, the author behind 2006’s The Medici Effect and 2015’s The Click Moment said, “The best ideas emerge when very different perspectives meet.” This is something that I think about quite a bit now. 

Ever since I fumbled my way out of senior year as a reclusive B and C student basket case and subsequently fumbled my way into freshman year as a reclusive A and B student basket case plus journalist, many things have allowed me to put my perspective into perspective. 

I’ve spoken with my fair share of people since snagging this reporter gig back in 2022, and I’ve come to appreciate different ideas and perspectives on a broad range of topics, be it DEI-related ideas, ethical use of AI in creative spaces, pay disparities among educators, among others. If you’d like to see those, The Collegian website is never too far away. That’s “The Collegian” and then the “Dot Com” bit. Remember, the extra clicks are always appreciated. 

Shameless plugs aside, learning to be, if not respectful at least tolerable or accepting of others’ worldviews is something that I think be enlightening. It’s something that has allowed me to broaden my personal views in ways I would’ve never thought possible in high school. It’s something I’ve become quite proud of, even though I still have a ton more to learn. 

The act of writing other people’s opinions off is super easy – barely an inconvenience. However, something I’ve been particularly mindful of following since the pandemic is being mindful of taking the easy way out of situations. It’s something that takes discipline for sure, and it’s discipline I’m not entirely sure I have yet, but it’s a goal of mine I’d like to focus on.  

Being open to new ideas and perspectives has been important in helping me better understand who I desire to be. Listening to other people’s views over the last two or so years has been an invaluable experience and has allowed me to reflect on, evaluate and reevaluate my own personal biases and preconceptions about concepts I would’ve never considered.