In one of my classes recently, we began to get into a heated discussion about abortion. As you know, many people feel strongly about both sides of this debate, and it is a quite a personal matter to many individuals.
Before anyone could really begin to share how they felt about the controversial topic, my professor shut it down. She said, “I don’t want to deal with hurt feelings, or someone taking this too far.”
This hit me hard. It made me angry. We should not be frightened to discuss things that put us on edge. Isn’t the whole point of college to let our intellectual minds be challenged by new ideologies?
By refusing to have these deep, intense discussions, we begin to hide from adversity rather than overcome it. Instead of embracing our differences, we try to conceal them. We run one hundred miles per hour in the other direction rather than allowing ourselves to understand viewpoints that differ from our own. This makes us weak. It causes us to recoil into our own beliefs and thoughts.
We have created a corrupt system that does not allow for reality to intrude. We baby ourselves and expect the world to baby us as well. When we are hurt, we expect an apology. When we are ridiculed, we expect someone to be there to stick up for us. We expect help when we fall and do nothing on our own. The reality is this: the real world is harsh. It is cruel. If we spend our whole lives living under a rock and being babied, our experience in the real world will be treacherous.
Because of this, many of us walk around frightened to say anything that will offend or trigger anyone else. We feel strained, unable to speak our minds because we will “hurt someone’s feelings.” We have to tread lightly, because our generation has become too frail, too weak.
This is not living. This is not learning. By refusing to openly discuss and share pieces of yourself, you refuse to embrace who you are. By refusing to listen and be open to opinions that differ from your own, you refuse to mature. In the real world, you will face adversity, you will struggle and you will fail. You will experience hardships and be forced to deal with people who do not understand you.
I want to encourage you to speak your mind. Share your opinions. Shout your beliefs from the rooftops. Do not let your differences tear you apart or keep you from embracing your opinions. Do not hole yourself away in a closet, shying away from the world. Do not cower down in fear. Stand up for yourself and fight to show the world who you are.