It’s hard to accept sometimes that pretty much most people will have different opinions from me. I am hard-headed and stubborn pretty much all the time and so it makes it difficult for me to keep an open mind when I already have fully formed opinions on a topic. I do try to educate myself as much as possible before taking a stance or making an opinion because I don’t ever want to be accused of being ignorant. That said, I wouldn’t consider myself intolerant-more as making an effort to understand others’ point of view even if I don’t agree.

This has always been something I considered to be extremely important-its important to be informed and tolerant. Not only by listening to others’ opinions but also making an effort to understand where they come from-because circumstances change and no two situations are exactly the same. While my efforts may not always be fruitful, I will always take something from the situation no matter the outcome.

SO, for example, whenever my family and I sit down for dinner, or get in the car, or be in generally a small space together-we start discussions and we always talk about something that a lot of people can input opinions into and it gets all tense. One topic that got particularly heated, was our discussion over double standards for girls and boys being raised and how they’re treated in a household. I have three sisters and no brothers, so I don’t know how my parents would treat a son specifically, but it was strange because we all came to a consensus that yes double standards exist. But, my dad claims that these double standards are necessary-for example, parents are more protective of the girls, and my dad claims that it’s because they need more protecting than the boys do. OF course, me and my sisters disagreed but anyways I could see where he was coming from and understand that as a father its his job to care for his kids-but at the same time it doesn’t mean that I have to accept his reasoning as being right (in a black and white sort of sense).

But the most important part of any discussion or exchange of opinions, is listening. You want to make a rebuttal? That’s fine, as long as you listen to what they’re trying to say and interpret correctly. You don’t want to argue or talk about it anymore? Let them finish what they’re saying first-knowledge is power after all.

Oh another thing to mention is this: you don’t always have to argue back-yeah I know it sounds crazy but it’s something to consider. You’ll find that not everything is worth arguing about. You want your voice to be heard? Don’t worry, there will be an opportunity for you in the future. There are a lot of outspoken people out there-myself included- and sometimes what they say will offend you and that’s okay as long as you know that it’s all just opinion. We all have different opinions on certain topics but in the end these opinions shouldn’t be an obstacle in the way of obtaining a more tolerant society.

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