Don't keep your opinions to yourself
Particularly at times like these, opinions are stamped, printed, yelled and even sometimes physically imposed on the general public. Elections at the local, state and national level have been finalized, and debates have been flooding the media. Most discussions are rather redundant and simply reiterate the fact that we have a divided country with citizens unwilling to compromise on anything.
Even though many discussions are just saturated with regurgitated talking points, the topics discussed are very real, critical issues that people must resolve together in order to have not just a stable nation, but a thriving one.
Fun fact: It's not a crime to be an original thinker. No single person, group, ideology, political platform, etc., has the all answers, and if we keep rendering each others' rational opinions worthless, our worst fears can become reality.
Make no mistake about it, however. If we choose to voice our opinions, we must be informed and rational. We must not speak out of spite or impulsively.
At the same time, we have to recognize legitimate opinions. We can't dismiss others' opinions as irrational perspectives just because they don't match ours.
Live Oak High School senior Ivonne Velazquez, 17, believes, "Opinions should be heard to a certain extent. It makes people take them into consideration. Everyone will always have their own opinion. That doesn't mean we will care about them, but if they are reasonable, then people do listen to them."
In any case, people will have different opinions that will never coincide, yet they definitely have the right to opinionate as they please.
LOHS senior Josias Macias, 17, said, "My opinion on opinions is that they are a part of our (human) nature, and our daily decisions are based on opinions."
LOHS senior Kaleb Allen, 17, feels varied opinions are important, "because it lets people have their own judgments on whatever they want, and people always have different ones," which brings up a good point: celebration of diversity. Not just diversity in race, gender, nationality or culture, but also in opinions.
At a more democratic standpoint, LOHS junior Joseph Dollins, 16, believes, "Everybody ought to voice their opinion because if we don't stand up for what we think is right, there isn't going to be any way of things getting any better."
LOHS senior Ricardo Camarena, 17, and current ASB president, has a job that requires an open mind. He said, "Opinions are what define an individual. I highly respect others' opinions, and as ASB president, I make sure to listen to each and every one of my peers' opinions in order to make their time here at LOHS enjoyable. I believe it is important for people to listen to opinions just as much as it is important to voice them."
High school is a transition point during which we develop our fundamental perspectives, which drive us to vote, discuss and become adults who contribute to our society as a whole, because that is ultimately what our opinions should do: contribute to the general population.
David Zermeño is a senior at Live Oak High School. His column appears every six weeks in Education.