OPINION–The Importance of being inclusive

The youth of today are bringing concepts like religious, sexual, personal identity as well as political beliefs, and racial tensions to light. This is evident through their protests, voter turnout at the polls, and on social media. Older generations may struggle or choose not to change their views or their vocabulary. The younger generation, however, has the power to be the next generation of change.

Being inclusive of others avoids conflict and can help people feel respected. One struggle in society today is understanding the LGBTQIA+ community, especially for older generations. The LGBTQIA+ community has many aspects, which is what makes it so beautiful and welcoming. With these aspects however, comes significant effort required in understanding and accepting everyone. If someone states their pronouns, remember and use them. If by mistake you misgender someone, apologize and keep trying.

Being inclusive and accepting of others’ points of view can be a challenge during conversations about politics. I personally recommend that politics not be discussed in school because the discussions could get heated and in turn damage relationships. Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, both sides can spit venom, which is why it’s important not to use spiteful or malicious words. This can go a long way with being politically correct or respectful overall.

Religion is another thing that can cause conflict. conversations surrounding religion can also cause conflict, including bullying, harassment, and psychological damage to the victim One way to avoid excluding others based on their religion, for example, is to not judge someone for wearing a cross around their neck, a hijab, a kippah or yarmulke, or anything else that represents their religion. I would recommend getting to know a person based on their personality and not their religious beliefs or lack thereof, because being an atheist is okay too.

As we have seen in the past four years, deep seeded racial tensions have flared to a point similar to the 1960s. We need to stop repeating our country’s history of racial violence and come together as a country because the United States of America does not represent one race or one religion, it represents all people and religions. We are all immigrants, besides Native Americans. My recommendation is to view each person for who they are rather than their appearance.

Being inclusive and accepting is not difficult, it’s really just about being able to respect others, as well as being open to learn from other people. Remember to treat everyone with respect and kindness, no matter what they look like, believe in, or identify as.