Art by Madeline Duvall
In a time of political polarization, an increasing wealth gap and access to new information every minute, it seems that the world is too much to process. The safest and easiest thing to do is to detach from thinking about the world and not suffer the imminent consequences of knowledge and action.
Yet there are so many people around the world who need students to take a stance on injustice. Pepperdine students must recognize the privilege that comes with education and have strong and informed opinions about the world around them.
Of course, the idea of having opinions about the whole world is a bit extreme and, quite frankly, impossible with how rapidly information comes and goes. But opinions create and push societal change.
The best place to start is to have an informed opinion, even if it begins with events that are more personal than global news. Be informed on why you bring a reusable cup to Starbucks to cut plastic versus continuing the cycle of waste because there is no care either way.
This is not to say that there is a need to become an expert in every field before you can hold a qualified opinion, but taking the time to learn about new things deepens the care for them.
There is value in holding strong opinions throughout personal life because people defend what they care about. Opinions are the attitudes that people have toward the world that they perceive. Once people have the base care for the opinions in their own lives, they must begin to look to current events.
Throughout the short lives that Pepperdine students have lived thus far, there has never been a more essential time to think critically about the world around them. With the privilege of education in classes, students are equipped to look at global injustice and form opinions about it.
The privilege to look at the wealth gap, the poverty rate, the oppression of women or the amount of food waste in the American food system and stand firm in an opinion about these issues is one that many around the world are incapable of doing.
Who will stand up for those without a voice if there is no one to form an opinion about their oppression? Who will stand up for the degradation of the planet if there is no one to form an opinion about its treatment?
Whether students are learning to form an opinion on the type of food they like to eat best or on the detrimental effects of the Trump presidency on marginalized groups in society, they can start thinking critically to take a stance. There is no right or wrong way to begin the habit of forming an opinion, but start to think about how to be an actively opinionated member in society.
It is easier to not take a stance and sit in ignorance. Standing firm in an opinion is difficult. You must know why you believe in something and why it is worth standing for. Yet there are so many people around the world and down the street that desperately need young, educated people to be willing to take a stance on injustice.
Take the risks. Utilize your education. Form an opinion. Have Perspectives.
If you’re interested in sharing your opinions, apply for the Graphic’s Perspectives section here.
Email Lexi Scanlon: email@example.com