Millennials must help foster civility, respect for all

Where do you stand? This is a question that we as young men and woman of America get asked constantly. Our views get challenged and crucified, and we receive arbitrary labels based on what we believe to be true as a passionate political member. In a day and age where Americans of all ages are being forced to pick one side of the political spectrum to gravitate toward, it is important to remember that tolerance is not just a quality that was used in our past culture as a society.

Civility and chivalry, values that used to drive us as a country, have inexplicably been reduced to mere rubble in today’s day and age. Both major political parties hurl insults and vulgar language at their fellow comrades in a moment’s whim, and as such, this lack of respect and tolerance has trickled down into the communities and hamlets of every corner of this great country. Issues such as gun control, abortion and relations among Islamic Americans drive a wedge among our community members like nothing else.

But we cannot simply expect to wait and hope that our politicians will start to restore the virtues of compromise and mutual respect. This forgotten decree should be practiced by us Millennials as a collective generation. Taking time to understand why people believe what they do is one of the most rewarding experiences anyone can experience and, as such, it is important to try and put yourself in someone else’s shoes before you start antagonizing their beliefs.

In a day and age where fighting and tension has become the norm, it is important to remember one simple motto at the end of the day. We are not Republicans or Democrats; we are Americans, who are extremely fortunate to live in the best country in the world. To quote Abraham Lincoln, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Let us take a step into the past and regain what values we have lost as time has moved on.

Nathan Stearns has written an opinion column for The Upstart. His views do not necessarily reflect those of the publication.

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