We are more alike than unalike

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We are more alike than unalike

Dalton Counts, Staff Columnist

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College students are at a crucial time of their lives. All are attending school to prepare for their future life as an adult and effective member of society. Some are rapidly going into debt as their student loans continue to increase with each class they register for and others are finding their spouses and can see their families beginning. While we love college and most aspects of it, we often lose sight of the important things happening off campus. 2019 is indeed a crucial time for students, much like how it is also a crucial time for our country.

In the last few years, discussions have been replaced by arguments. These arguments are passionate and become toxic for friendships, relationships and general interactions. This was on complete display after the tragic shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas earlier this month. Thirty-one people lost their lives – 31 mothers lost a child and millions were impacted. After this tragedy, both political sides simply wanted to point fingers and decide who was responsible. While the two gunmen acted on the same day, they had differing motives. One was inspired by the far-right, the other by the far-left. While both were equally disgusting, people more toward the center of the aisle used these manifestos to prove why the shooting was the other side’s fault. While change is necessary, dividing ourselves is not the formula to create this change. 

Most college students have always had some sort of technology in their life. We have always grown up with the internet, and our social media accounts probably date back to our awkward middle school days. These apps were invented to be a fun, small part in our lives. Instead, the internet has taken over our existence. We are captivated by our followers, likes and shares. We need the reassurance of someone else acting behind a screen. 

This behaviour has bled in to how we act around each other in real life. How often do we view others as a social media account instead of who they are? How often do college kids forget that those around them are living, breathing people with thoughts, emotions and opinions of their own? It becomes much easier to get into toxic arguments when we treat others like they are just behind a phone screen. Our culture is heading in a direction in which differing opinions warrant serious repercussions. How long will it be before we completely dehumanize those who disagree with us? 

It is time for us to be the difference that is needed in our society. As students at the University of Alabama, campus is a great place to start making these differences. Instead of being divided by the things that make us different, let us be united through our similarities. Maya Angelou once said, “We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.” This rings true for students at the Capstone. What can we do when we are united? Over the next few months, we will have opportunities to come together and work through our differences. Whether it be a beautiful throw from Tua Tagovailoa or the simple love for the University that longtime fan Walt Gary had, find a way to be united with fellow students. When we do this, it will be a better semester.