Political Awareness and You

Political Awareness and You

Millennials are often labeled as apathetic and self-centered.  Although I fundamentally disagree with this notion, I do think that everyone has tunnel vision.  No matter how old or young you are people usually have some beliefs that define their actions. Yes, your political ideology can change with time and experiences.  But we need to stop only educating ourselves on the issues we care about most.  What do I mean by this? 

I mean that if you label yourself a Democrat and you know who you are voting for, that’s not enough.  It is our civic responsibility to understand all sides to make educated decisions.

Keeping up with all candidates and different sides is hard, especially when you are so entrenched in your beliefs.  But you can do it, and you should.  Follow every candidate and party on Twitter.  Check many different news sources that represent different biases.  Look at how international news covers the U.S.  This isn’t about you changing your beliefs.  This is about you understanding where others are coming from, how you can better make decisions, and how your beliefs can affect people across the country. 

The political climate during my lifetime has had a polarizing effect on politics and society.  Both parties are pulling further right or left, making hostility the norm rather than cooperation.  I find myself buying into this sometimes thinking that people opposite of me are lesser, meaner, etc because I think that is what I am supposed to think.  But I try to understand others, no matter how hard I may find it.  Because as a citizen of the United States, I think it is my duty to try and understand the people around me.  It is our responsibility to understand why we believe something.  But it is important to understand WHY others may believe something different.  What life has taught me so far is that people always have good intentions from where they are standing.  But making the effort to stand in someone else’s shoes doesn’t happen too often.  Understanding others is the quickest ways to understanding ourselves.

Originally posted February 2016

Sarah Contreras

Sara is a lipstick enthusiast and expert on all things Larry David.  She is about to enter the abyss... post grad life that is.  She is attending Appalachian State University and studying International and Comparative Politics.