By Jaci Schneider, Opinion Editor
Much Ado About Something
As the editor of the Opinion Page and member of the Editorial Board, I have found myself in quite a conundrum-my job requires me to voice my opinions.
Anyone who knows me knows I am strong-willed and I like to argue.
However, I’m finding it harder and harder to find subjects to argue about.
I used to have a lot of opinions in middle and high school-I knew everything, and I was ready to let people know what I thought.
I still like to voice my opinions, and I will drag out a discussion until it turns into an argument, just for the sake of arguing. But over the years, it’s become more and more difficult for me to argue serious subjects.
People seem to make a lot more sense these days. I don’t know what it is. Maybe people all of a sudden got smarter, or maybe I just started listening. Whatever happened, it is incredibly frustrating-both sides of many issues seem to be legitimate.
How am I supposed to argue against someone if they make sense?
I thought that once I got into college I would suddenly find all the answers on the world’s problems and know what is right and what is wrong. Instead, the more I learn, the more confused I get.
I have experienced a lot since I graduated high school. I now attend a college 2,000 miles away from my home, and it is affiliated with a church that I had never heard of. I studied abroad in Oxford, England, for a semester and experienced more in four months than I thought I would in my lifetime. All of these events have taught me about the world and the people in it. It seems to be never-ending-there’s always something new to learn and experience. As soon as I figure something out, I discover a new dimension.
In some ways I guess it’s good-I don’t have to worry about being called narrow-minded and biased. I’m not saying that I’m all open-minded and in love with relativism. But the more I experience, the more I understand what all the relativists are raving about.
Forming a firm opinion is hard; it requires research, understanding and stepping on people’s toes along the way. Having a strong opinion will offend people; they will call you names and misunderstand your point.
One of the hardest parts of having an opinion is hypocrisy. Once you form an opinion, you know you’re right-no one is going to change your mind. My problem is that I know the people on the other side of the issue feel the same. So what’s the point? In the end, you have to listen to the opposing argument. If not, then your opinion has no basis.
That’s where I run into trouble. I don’t want to be hypocritical, so I listen to the opposition. Then I suddenly realize that it makes sense. I don’t know everything. And the issues are more complicated than I thought. Work must be done to reformulate my opinion.
All this work tires me out; I’m not looking forward to the coming election. It would be easy to vote the way my parents or my school tells me, but I don’t want to do that. I want to have an opinion. I guess that’s part of growing up-forming opinions, then realizing you could be wrong.
It’s just something that I’m going to have to deal with.