Wipe your tears, blow your nose and pull up your big-boy pants


Abigail Landwehr

The American flag is a symbol of strength and freedom. That differs greatly from the growing weakness plaguing our nation.

“America the beautiful”? More like “America, the place where you can cry about everything when you don’t get your way and judge people for not agreeing with your overly-biased opinion.” 

To put it simply, we’ve become a cry-baby nation.

We live amongst walking snowflakes, delicate creatures who can’t take the criticism of others without melting into a pile of mush. We call people out over social media with words we wouldn’t dare to repeat in front of our mothers. We force our opinions onto each other without pausing to hear the other person’s story. And when confronted with solid evidence that we were wrong, we fold like an origami crane.

If you’re going to have an opinion, for the sanity of everyone, educate yourself. Contribute to the conversation rather than being a stubborn donkey that screams at the top of its lungs when it doesn’t want to go forward anymore. Don’t enter a conversation to start an argument. Instead, focus on learning something from the other person. Inform yourself of both sides and feel confident in the stance you are taking. Otherwise, you might regret it later.

Among our youth, there’s a growing idea that destroying the past creates a better future. This is severely damaging our understanding and appreciation of history. The defamation of historical statues across the country has sparked a “revolution” of ignorance and spite. Because of our founding fathers, we have the right to freedom of expression; however, we are abusing that power. Let’s take a step back for a minute.

The year is 1783. The United States has officially broken away from Great Britain, and now the task of creating a government begins. Some of the greatest minds in history gather to create a country where the government protects your right to pursue happiness. No other place in the world provides that same level of protection to its citizens. To tear down their statues is to say, “We don’t care about what they did for us because, based on modern beliefs, what they did in their personal lives was wrong and immoral.” Have we forgotten that they lived in a different time period? 

Back then, it wasn’t bad to own slaves or treat women like property; they didn’t know any better. But because of the document they created, we can add to the constitution to accommodate advancements in society. So don’t tear them down in the name of racism and hypocrisy, because that’s not what they stood for. They stood for you and me and our country, which, at that time, was very, very different. To ignore their sacrifices and claim that they don’t deserve recognition is to deny our history. We’ve learned from the past and advanced far beyond what our founding fathers might have ever thought was possible. 

So dear fellow peers, I don’t care about your opinion. That’s why it’s yours and not mine. But if you want to have a civilized conversation about it, come and talk to me. It’s fine if we don’t agree, but don’t get offended if I make a better point than you. No one will care if, by the end of it, one of us changes our mind. After all, we can’t be confined in our jars of “I’m better than you” forever.

Just take a deep breath and step out of your comfort zone, but be careful. . . you might enjoy it. 

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