Rant on Sheltered Opinions

I go to a school where people are told they can change the world. Which is great. Really.

However, this school has a very specific demographic: pretty white girl, art therapy major or early education major, does some kind of art or music as a hobby, includes herself in the LGBTQA+ spectrum, is vegetarian/vegan/etc., listens to exclusively indie rock and occasionally obscure slow hip hop, thinks Obama is the best thing since sliced bread, viciously defends her half-baked political opinions that she formed based on her parents’ views and Tumblr blogs. The whole school is dead-set on saving the environment (recycling, composting, gardening, saving endangered animals/rainforests, etc all fit into this category), stopping world hunger and homelessness, spreading awareness on equal rights, animal rights, and SO many more things that I support 100%. The only difference between me and this demographic is that I’m not really set on changing the world.

I have respect for them. I promise you I believe in the hard work that is being done to help protect our planet and the beings that inhabit it. However, I have my own dreams and goals and things that are important to me that are my top priority, and somehow I’m made to feel bad about that. When I don’t stand with my classmates, when I pass up on protests and flyers and fundraisers, the stigma is that because I’m not “using my voice”, I’m “contributing to the problem” and therefore am considered the source of the issue itself. And that just doesn’t sit well with me.

And the thing that gets me, that REALLY gets me, about the kids that have told me this, is that they grew up believing that they’re special snowflakes and should be listened to and supported no matter what. Most of these kids were preached to ceaselessly on the horrible wrongs of bullying (bullying awareness has saved lives. I know that.), so they learned that if someone’s being mean or rude, it’s bullying and it’s not only annoying and frustrating, it’s actually *ILLEGAL*. And that, my friends, has led to a entire generation of people that believe that the entire rest of the world should cater to one person’s beliefs, opinions, and sensitivities. If they’re offended by something, you can’t say it/do it/be it in their presence or where they can see it. If they believe something that you disagree with, you’re wrong. You’re just wrong. They don’t need evidence, you’re just ignorant. And this is the most frustrating thing in the world, because I experience these kids at school all the time who try to stand up for an actually legitimate cause, but go about it COMPLETELY the wrong way.

EX: gay marriage legalization nationwide. Straight people post profile pictures with a rainbow filter. Another internet trend that spread over Facebook like wildfire. 2 gay kids get offended by this, and claim bravely that you’re “not actually an ally” if you take part in this trend, because it’s offensive. Suddenly, a handful of people have the right to determine what REALLY makes someone an LGBTQA+ ally without even needing to know their name.

Bottom line: not everyone really cares what you have to say. Your fragile opinions and expectations of humanity won’t be sheltered under an umbrella of bullying protection for your whole life, so you need to learn how to accept being offended by something. You need to learn how to be okay with not being okay with someone. Take a breath, drink a glass of water, and shut off Facebook if it’s frustrating you. I promise, the anger isn’t always worth it.

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