Generous Orthodoxy in the United States

The concept of generous orthodoxy is not new to society. In the podcast “Generous Orthodoxy”, Malcolm Gladwell defines Generous as meaning “committed to tradition” and orthodoxy meaning “open to change”. These two definitions separately are easy to understand, but when they are associated together, they can be hard to grasp. Malcolm Gladwell stresses that in order for change to occur, people must respect the tradition to a certain extent. There have been many different times in history where there have been cases of it. In the podcast, Malcolm Gladwell talks about the black students at Princeton University who were part of protests. These minority students felt as if the college owed them something. They wanted to change the fact that Woodrow Wilson’s name was all over the campus buildings by protesting. They did not respect the tradition, yet they still expected it to be altered for their own liking. If they had gone about it differently, then maybe it would have been changed. They were not willing to sacrifice their position as a student there in order to stand up for what they believed in. There are people all over the world trying to change values and traditions of certain cultures. The barrier they are trying to break is more than protesting. In fact, maybe it is respecting what is, before what they want to change.

In recent times, many protests in the United States have followed the election of Donald Trump. His election into office has caused an uproar amongst millions throughout the nation. Many different minority groups have been offended by what Donald Trump has said in the past. Some people who feel threatened by his election into office include: Hispanics, Muslims, women, and the LGBTQ+ community. Trump has said many awful things about these particular groups in the past and they will not forget them. In Portland, Oregon, thousands of people walked the streets in a disrespectful manner. They were blocking streets, attacked news crews, and threw bottles at police officers. Also, according to the Portland police department, over 71 people were arrested at the scene. In other cities across the country, protests have occurred, yet they have remained peaceful. I, myself, am a minority and I do not support Donald Trump in any way because of how negatively he has spoken about my fellow people and the idea of separating families who have done nothing but help the United States prosper. My own father came to the United States at the age of 19 to to help make a better life for himself and his family, and that is exactly what he did. He worked in the fields long hours and for a small income without any complaints. He eventually moved to Rockford, Illinois and got his citizenship before settling down and working third shift for 21 years to support his family. On November 14th of 2016, he got moved to first shift, which is a promotion in his eyes. My uncle has a PhD in philosophy and is a professor at Monmouth University. My cousin is currently getting his law degree. They are not rapists, criminals, nor are they living off the government, and I’ll be damned to allow the future president portray them that way. Regardless of how badly they have been spoken about, they still have hope in the country nonetheless.The United States is the land of the Free and so many people like members of my family as well as my friends still believe it is. I know so many people who have contributed to our country in a positive way. Donald Trump has given a bad name to many including myself, but violence will not be the key to fixing the damage that has already been done.

I do not believe violence will fix the issues that have been presented to us. In this case, perhaps these protest marchers who support violence against the new leader of the United States have to sacrifice something in order to help the cause they are trying to change. What if all the disruptive people who were at that protest moved elsewhere? There is talk about people moving to Canada, but who will actually move to a different country for the sake of their families? They could easily move to any other country around the world if they wanted to. It is all about who will act upon their words. They should give up the lives they have in the United States, considering the fact they want to see pain in their own fellow citizens. They should give up everything they have. Although there are millions of people who disagree with Donald Trump’s views and outlook on things, violence should never be the answer.

In the podcast, Gladwell says something that refers to all situations in which generous orthodoxy occurs. “We need to respect the body we are trying to heal.” In order for change to occur, the protesters cannot fight fire with fire. We can’t tear down our brothers and sisters. We will not be able to fix the country we live in by fighting with one another. There are so many different ways to voice our opinions in such ways that will not result in the loss of life or injuries of others. We are living in the United States, and we are all abiding by the same laws. Their is no point in endangering the lives of law enforcement or innocent bystanders. Throughout the course of time, there has always been a time where people did not meet eye to eye. Our country can’t stoop down to a low level in order to make their point across. Those protesters as well as everyone else who wants change to occur, have to rise above and react differently to the situation that is happening within the United States. In the world we are living in today, we must be united with our brothers and sisters more than ever. We are the future and we have the power to change it, but it will not be made possible without the help of our fellow man.

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