FRIENDS BEFORE POLITICS

Growing up, there was not a lot of talk about politics. We were unaware of our parents’, teachers’, preachers’, pastors’, or priests’ points of view. Nobody was very vocal about who they were voting for. Your political affiliations were a private conversation with yourself and not meant to be shared. Today’s society is quite different with people not being afraid to share who they view as the best candidate for our country.

I had four extremely close friends growing up, friends that I consider like family. We became friends before any of us knew what politics were. Instead, we bonded and became friends over common interests and personality traits that were akin to our own, and we called ourselves sisters.

Obviously, times have changed, and the past is almost unrecognizable. Society is now extremely vocal, not afraid to voice their opinions to anyone and everyone within earshot concerning who they are voting for. We have our political status plastered all over social media, in the front yards of our homes, and even on our vehicles! Often, coworkers now brazenly discuss politics in the workplace like it’s an everyday conversation. Others can’t believe the audacity they have to speak openly about their opinions while keeping their own close to their chest. Do you believe your own political views should be kept private and not discussed with others, or do you enjoy conversations about such a sensitive subject?

The friends I grew up with all share the same political views, with me being the only one to hold a different opinion. Fortunately, even while having opposing perspectives, we have still managed to stay friends after all these years. When we grew older, finally understanding what politics were exactly, we all made a pact to leave politics out of our friendship and remember why we became friends. We proved that people with such different viewpoints can still remain friends, because we value each other’s opinions. We see each other for more than who they vote for. We refused to let outside forces try and tell us that we can’t be friends. If someone chooses not to be my friend simply because I have different views than them, then that isn’t someone I would want to call a friend. Society needs to have more respect for one another, no matter your political status. We are all human beings and none of us is perfect. We need to come together to value others for their thoughts, not shame them for it. Choose to look past who someone votes for at the polling booths. Come to terms with each other that even though we were all created different, we are still equal.