A few days ago I saw an episode of the IFC show Portlandia, a sketch comedy based on the hipster vibe of the city of Portland, in which they featured a sketch of a male who was in early adulthood who had always protested cars and advocated for “bicycle rights” in the city. Working as a delivery man, he is approached by his boss, who explains that he needs to improve his efficiency and look into buying a car.
Vehemently opposed to this at first, he eventually caves and purchases his first vehicle. Within hours, the character became extremely frustrated with all of the citizens on bikes who are driving in car lanes, cutting him off and running stop lights.
He becomes so frustrated he rallies other car drivers to form a blockade in the middle of the road, block all bicycle traffic and protest their presence on the streets.
The drivers started honking their horns and screaming that cars were going to take back the street; they pleaded for car rights.
At this point, you may be wondering where I am going with this, but this scene perfectly exemplifies the nature and mindset of most Americans, especially millennials, which can be summed up as, “my best interests are more important than yours.”
In the show, the character is talked back into his senses by a girlfriend, but today, few people are willing to speak up and let someone know in a mannerly fashion when they are out of line. Even fewer people are willing to accept the criticism.
Too often, people only care about their side of a story, their stance on a political or social issue or their opinions on any given matter — they refuse to consider things from a neutral point of view. This editorial is a call for everyone to take a step back, know both sides of any given debate and respect the opinion of your fellow people. It will be beneficial for us all in the long run (this includes you, Kanye West).
Whether it be an opinion about something as trivial as a favorite athlete or band, or as important as a political or religious view, respect to others will go along way.