It's Okay If You Don't Agree
There comes a time in every child's life when they realize that their parents might not be the "be all and end all" when it comes to opinions. There might, God forbid, be something that you question. Something that you choose, willingly, to defy. I'm not talking about curfews or rules when it comes to alcohol or boys in the house. I'm talking about the things that you believe to your core, the things that you choose to let define you, the things that you will go to bat to defend. The things that make you... you.
I was watching the presidential debate with my father, a man whom I have admired and revered as the smartest man in the room for most of my life. Trust me, he is someone who commands respect. He's a force, an imposing character that demands you stop what you're doing and listen to him. A man who knows that he might not always be right, but believes in himself no matter what the outcome, which is always something I have respected. A man whom I look up to now and forever.
A man who, until today, I believed knew everything about everything.
It's not easy disagreeing with your parents. They're the people that raised you, that instilled in you the very values that you base your claims on today. They're the people that trained you to look for the qualities in people that you look for on a daily basis. They're the people that taught you right from wrong, the people that taught you what was good and what was bad and how to sort one from the other. It's not easy to disagree with that.
But, there comes a time in every child's life where they learn that it is okay to form their own opinions. I have formed my own opinion. And I have been afraid to do so until now.
I have been afraid, and I don't really know why. My father, this man whom I have revered and respected, has his own opinion. He formed his opinions by watching debates and participating in discussions with his own father. Why should I, someone who has done both of those things, be so afraid of my own opinion?
I shouldn't. I have watched, I've listened, and I've participated in my own debates about who should and shouldn't lead our country. As an educated person, I should not be afraid to form my own opinion. I've read all the articles and watched all the interviews. I have the facts. So why am I so afraid?
I think part of it comes from the fear of growing up. Growing up means that we're adults, that the decision making is on us now. And that can be scary. We've looked up to our parents and mentors for our whole life, hoping they will tell us right from wrong. And finding our our own footing on something so fundamental as a political opinion can be terrifying when we think of it like that.
We have jobs. We have responsibilities. We have opinions. We are our own people. And we shouldn't be afraid to have these opinions. We shouldn't be afraid of who we are. Of who are striving to be.
We should be excited to sit at the adult table, to be able to engage in the adult conversations, and be the adults we pretend to be during the work week, even if we don't always feel like it.
Because we do sit there, at the adult table. We do have those adult conversations, and we are the adults. And we shouldn't be afraid to be an adult.
My father is a great man. He is a man whom I admire and revere as the smartest man in the room. I always will. He commands respect,and is a force to be reckoned with. He has his own opinions about who should and shouldn't lead this country.
And I have mine.
And that's okay.