“My cultural beliefs, family and social media greatly influence my political opinions.”
“It was still interesting to see how such kind and compassionate people that I was so close to, could have such different beliefs.”
I discuss politics with adults in my life very often. Actually, this is something that me and my dad are always discussing. We have wildly different views; he agrees with most all right wing views and policies, while I agree with mostly left wing ideals. It is interesting to talk about with him because he is an extremely educated person; he reads the news from all sources and forms opinions of his own, regardless of party, but these opinions are often more republican than anything. I do the same, and yet I often form more democratic/liberal opinions on the same issues, and when these opinions collide it can form some interesting conversations. When talking to him, my own views are often challenged.
My grandparents, up until a few years ago, were registered Republicans. That didn’t affect our relationship, but it was still interesting to see how such kind and compassionate people that I was so close to, could have such different beliefs.
My family and I rarely discuss politics but when we do the arguments get heated. Although for most political topics my family and I have the same view, there are the few we strongly disagree about. For instance, my father will vote for whatever democrat makes it to the end which I think is misinformed but they won’t change their minds. My mother, on the other hand, will vote for Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren. I share my sisters’ belief the Bernie Sanders is the obvious contender for the seat of office. I agree with many of his policies from his tax proposals on the super-rich to his Medicare for all plan. I like to believe my views on issues are that of my own but I highly doubt that. I think if my family were to have been republicans I probably would consider myself to be one as well.
As I grew older, I became more and more exposed to opinions that were polar opposites of my father’s. I discovered the importance of questions in general. Sometimes I deemed my father’s answers sufficient and of sense, and sometimes I saw that he didn’t have a clear answer or an answer at all. One important lesson that he always preached was to fact check every detail you hear with a number of other sources. I’ve found that to be very important when looking for the truth in today’s politics.
“Society has pinned both political parties against one another further prohibiting a peaceful conversation.”
Growing up in my family, I never felt as if I was forced to agree with my parents or family, I was able to explore and make decisions for myself, decisions that I wanted. I also feel as if I was shown both sides of political views on world issues. All of my family is more on the conservative side, and I am too because I find the values to line up with my beliefs more than the left leaning side. Further, my political views almost exactly line up with my parents but it was my own, independent choice.
When an argument put in front of me I usually take a neutral position because I see the positives and the negative on both sides and usually try to create a common consent. Instead of being right or left, I try to find a middle point where can have the best of both worlds. With all of my experiences with debating on topic where there is not one right answer I have tried to find a middle point or some common ground.
I don’t usually engage in political discussions because I don’t feel as informed as I should be. Further, I believe that society has pinned both political parties against one another further prohibiting a peaceful conversation. I feel that we can all learn from one another, but within our growing and changing society, tradition is sometimes too conservative for change causing a growing divide.
So, in this Student Opinion question, we invited them to read about the things Times employees do to take care of themselves, and then share their own. Here are some of their tips for preserving and improving their mental, physical and emotional health:
Get some sleep
With school, sports, and homework finding time to get good sleep during the week is close to impossible. Taking time to simply just lay down and take a nap is by far one of the most important things for me. 2 hours. That’s all the time I need to re energize myself and feel good again.
Now, don’t get me wrong online shopping helps a lot too but there is no immediate energy boost. I reserve time every weekend possible to just take a nap. The amazing feeling of laying down after a long week and just forgetting all your responsibilities is by far one of the best feelings that one can encounter.
Listen to music
My idea of self care is simply listening to music at home everyday after school. Being very introverted, school can be extremely exhausting for me and I often find schoolwork to be overwhelming. Taking time to listen to music everyday and relax really helps me deal with the stress and pressure of school. It gives me a break from thinking about homework, grades, and my peers.
When I was in 9th grade, my dad made me go to some religious classes every weekend and they spent an hour every morning doing yoga. I always thought yoga was just something that moms do but I realized a lot over the past few weeks at yoga. It was calming and it let me release the breath I didn’t know I was holding in. I’m a very extroverted person and I really enjoy being around other people but this was a new experience for me. This was a time spent to myself where I could ponder on my thoughts. I never realized the point of it all but when I noticed that this was the moment just for me I started to feel like I can catch my breath.
This content was originally published here.