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An Educated Mind, Educated Life

By Ally Spady

November 19, 2020

What do you think questions are? Truly, ask yourself, “What are questions?” Questions are opportunities for people to create their own opinions based on a simple answer or someone else’s opinion. Questions can start you down a rabbit hole of thoughts or give you the answer you were looking for at point-blank. These opportunities can challenge our mindsets and spark growth in our mentalities.

If I didn’t understand something entirely, I could ask for a second opinion from another person. Asking that person could mean they’d possibly give me an answer tailored to their own motives and perspectives. Would I be receiving all the information I needed to accurately make my own opinion? That’s the thing – people will tell you their side of the story that makes them a superhero, instead of telling you both sides of the story, allowing for you to make a decision. I believe this is because people want others to believe that their way is the ONLY way of thinking, yet nothing could be further from the truth. 

A way to avoid this potential issue would be to make certain you’re asking the right questions to the right people. Can you trust those people to be honest with you? Do you believe those people would shoot straight with you, even if it’s a difficult conversation or situation to face? Or would it be best in the long run to do your own research, formulate your own opinions, and not consider others’ perspectives? My advice is to live in the grey – do both. I believe I can create my opinion with my own research, but still listen to others’ perspectives and understand they can give me an insight into how their lives are affected. You should try to do the exact same thing when it comes to making your decisions. 

In honor of this time of year, I thought it was necessary to incorporate the recent election and the importance of educated citizens partaking in voting. This is my first year and first opportunity that I was able to vote. Throughout my years in high school, I’ve taken multiple American government classes, because I wanted to learn and fully engross myself in the whole system. All year, my teacher would preach about staying informed on what was happening in our world and how knowledge is power. My teacher would also tell me how important voting is, but only when the voters have a general understanding of the topic they’re voting on.

Voting is a key factor in introducing change to our ever-evolving world. It is significantly important in all communities, and it seems Kiowa County understands this concept, since 95% of our eligible voters participated in the 2020 county, state, and national election a few weeks ago. There should be more time and effort dedicated to learning more about certain political issues in advance to just the 2 seconds it takes to fill in a bubble on a ballot. The bubbles on those ballots affect our small-town community, our neighbors, and our future in Kiowa County, USA. The impact those bubbles’ have on us as individuals and as a whole needs to be considered before submitting a ballot. Your single vote can make a difference, one way or the other. Yet, when you are uninformed and uneducated on any topic, that vote could have drastic changes that are nearly impossible to change once the deed is done.

Think about your vote like this; you don’t get to have a voice in the election, but your vote is your voice. Your voice is what speaks true to your standards and morals, and that’s what makes your voice so special. It’s all yours, and it’s everything you think and believe. You may want to speak up and voice your thoughts on something you care deeply about, but realize you can’t exactly do that in an election. Yet, those bubbles on your ballot are your voice, and they reflect you as an individual. 

So, next time you want to form your own personal opinion on something that affects you, your family, and others, take the time to do solid and accurate research, basing your perspective only on the thoughts you create between your own two ears. Truly educate yourself, ask the right people the right questions, and stay true to your individual values and beliefs, perspectives and opinions. All of these will lead you to become an even more independent person that could spark a change in this world. 

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