Opinion: Respecting Others’ Opinions



Currently there are around 7.442 billion people in the world. That’s 7.442 billion different opinions, religious stances, and political views. Seven and a half billion people who will never agree. Each has their own story to tell, their own future to write. Each passing moment is another page in the novel of who they are today.

The question is raised: how can all of these different people in various places with dissimilar ideas coexist peacefully? It is our responsibility to show kindness, love, and respect to others no matter how much their opinions differ from ours. Hurtful comments and actions break society. The point must be made that one does not have to agree with another to show kindness. Politeness and support are not synonymous. In wake of recent events, it is crucial  we must come together to show our community love.The golden rule dictates a message that everyone should keep in their hearts: treat others the way you would like to be treated. In other words, if you want your viewpoints to be respected, you must respect others’.

Here’s the thing. Love and respect never cause school shootings. Love and respect never cause suicide or mental health disorders. Love and respect never cause hatred of certain groups. The second we cross into unkind and disrespectful behavior through  emotionally, verbally, or physically targeting another based on personal principles is what causes many of the current problems we face in the world. As American citizens, we all have the right to freedom. It is acceptable to disagree with someone else, but it is disgraceful and inappropriate to act out on that disagreement when interacting with other people who have a story — just like you.

It’s nearly impossible to watch the news without hearing something about a problem created by differing outlooks and beliefs. Whether it is a minority extremist group — such as the Klu Klux Klan (KKK) and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) — or something that affects us on a daily basis such as the claims of “fake news”, they all stem from some sort of disagreement between people with unique and individual perspectives. Many people have lost their lives simply because of a disagreement. Take ISIS for example. An average of 3,000 people are killed every year by the group over women’s rights, religion, politics, and many other issues. However, ISIS is certainly not the only example – just take a look at the “fake news” crisis here in America. Many people all across the country are labeling factual news articles as “fake” simply because they do not agree with what is being said. While it is completely acceptable and healthy to disagree with something you read, that doesn’t mean one should label it as “fake” or criticize the journalist for sharing a story they deem relevant.  

“I think there would be less wars and we would be kinder and have more respect for each other,” said Freshman Michala Robb when asked what the world would look like if we showed more deference for others and their opinions. The vast majority of war and violent disputes occur because of a lack of courtesy towards positions divergent from one’s own. “The world would be a much more peaceful place with far less conflict,” said Sophomore Maddie Hope, “If we were open to new ideas then, we could better understand others and that could teach us more about the world.” During the assembly on Aug. 28, Principal Michael Weaver said, “We want to appreciate the unique interests and abilities of every kid in this room.”

As the Mountain Vista student body, let’s take the “Be A Good Person” message further than Wish Week and spread kindness, acceptance, love and respect to all – no matter how much other’s opinions differ from our own.