The article struck a chord with me — first, Joel (I like to think of myself as being on a first name basis with him after he hung out at “my” coffee shop conducting interviews) pointed out that millennials have “less civic engagement and a lower political participation than any previous group.”
I’ve seen that to be very true amongst my peers. I think that the quickest way to lose Facebook friends is to write political comments or share your political leanings.
Our generation values political correctness. In many cases, the desire to be respectful and tolerant of the opinions of others is a great thing, but one of the repercussions of such is silence.
The fear of offending someone keeps us quiet. The ideals of relativism strip us of our reasoning and the ability to defend a position.
We like our friends, we like our social status — why risk that by voicing a polarizing opinion? I’m here to remind you that we are all in the same boat.
You will always offend or disagree with someone out there. You can always work to create relationships that value disagreements and differences rather than alienating one another based upon them.
This is where PolicyMic comes in. While offending people by holding an opinion is inevitable, the way in which we respond or engage with those whom we disagree with is up to us. PolicyMic fosters an environment for civic engagement, disagreement and respectful discussion.
Many of us on this website know that. That does not stop millennials from all backgrounds from standing up voicing their opinion.
Despite his recent fall from grace, Dr. Ben Carson spoke about not being afraid to speak up. He said, “[In] this country one of the founding principles was freedom of thought and freedom of expression.” We need to remember that it is essential to our system of government that we all participate in this dialogue.
It was this speech, at the National Prayer Breakfast, that motivated me to write. I decided that sharing my views in politics and standing up for what I believe in is more important than my desire to remain politically correct.
Let’s not be afraid to express our thoughts, even if that means that some will reject us as people on the basis of our ideals.
Why would we want to hang out with people who wouldn’t accept us for precisely who we are, anyway? Join me! Lose some friends! Make some new ones here!
My next article just might be a proposal for a PolicyMic barbecue because I will probably have scared off many of my real friends by then.
This problem is not unique to the right or the left. Remember that this issue affects most subcultures and groups of society.
To those of you who have not yet written here, I encourage you to do so. Don’t be afraid of bothering someone. Don’t be afraid of someone disagreeing with you — not because it won’t happen, but because it will, and it happening will slowly free you from that fear that keeps so many of us silent.