Talking about talking

Dear Orange (the school, not the fruit), August 30, 2016

Welcome back to school, you sprightly, good-looking youth. This year, The Courier will be running a number of stories laced with controversy and divergent opinions. And, from now until November, Hillary and The Donald will be sparring for the presidency—an election that will no doubt… we’ll say “electrify” the nation.

And as the season of debate beckons, I say this: just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean they are stupid. There is this growing belief that the two sides of any issue are so irreconcilable that compromise is just Ludacris (#ludaversal).

But I urge you—you intelligible reader you—to be immune to this sort of thinking. The people who disagree with you do so because their life has been lived in a different context than yours. They have had different experiences that have forged their character and opinions in the same way that your experiences have forged your opinions.

If you were violently attacked by mutant hamster bats (yes, they exist) as a 4 year old, you will likely hate mutant hamster bats for all eternity. But keep in mind, there are people out there who have had wonderful and enlightening exchanges with the same sorts of mutant hamster bats that violently attacked you.

The point is: no opinion is wrong, so long as it can be warranted by real evidence and so long as you are willing to have your precious mind changed. Because the only thing worse than someone who wants to destroy the entire mutant hamster bat species is someone who isn’t willing to change their mind on such a murderous preference.

Lastly, I’d like to (as the kids call it) spit some truth.

Have an open mind—which sounds trite or whatever, but you will never learn anything with a closed mind. Also, be willing to discuss and debate. Don't just get frustrated and disillusioned and insist that the “we” are doomed. Talk things out with your peers, and never take a disagreement personally. That also means that you shouldn’t attack anyone personally because of their beliefs. Remember, they aren’t stupid. And neither are you. Lastly, care. Never don't care, please. So long as you care about what you believe in, your beliefs ought to be respected.

So as you, dearest reader, bend back the following pages of The Courier, I implore you to do so with open-mindedness and a resolve to be considerate and, ideally, empathetic.

Please Note: I’m legally obliged to say that mutant hamster bats do not actually exist.

All the best,

Garrett R. Dahn


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Orange Media publications are official student-produced mediums of news and information published by the Journalism students of Olentangy Orange High School. The publications have been established as a designated public forum for student journalists to inform, educate and entertain readers as well as for the discussion of issues of concern to their audience. They  will not be reviewed or restrained by school officials, adults or sources prior to publication.

The content of the publications is determined by and reflects only the views of the student staff and not school officials or the school itself. They will not publish any material, determined by the staff or adviser, that is libelous, obscene or disruptive to the school day.

The advisers are Kari Phillips and Brian Nicola. Readers may respond to the publications through Letters to the Editor. Letters may be mailed, e-mailed to or dropped off to room 2223. The staff asks that submissions be 300 words or less and contain the author’s name and signature. Editors reserve the right to edit or withhold publication of letters.

The publications strive to uphold the Canons of Professional Journalism, which includes accuracy, impartiality, etc. Therefore, major errors will be corrected in the next issue. Distinction will be marked between news and opinion stories.

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