Cogito ergo sum
There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding the presidential primaries, and rightfully so. The debates have shown us the good and the bad side of America. The good — we, the people, have freedom of speech. The bad — we, the people, have freedom of speech. One might say, “Well, Christian, what does that mean?” To them I would say that it means that everyone has a right to form an opinion, and with that opinion, everyone has a right to agree or disagree, but at the end of the day, we must all think for ourselves.
I was watching a video of a politician and he mentioned that he loves debates because it opens up a dialogue to an issue at hand. Dialogue is defined as a conversation between two or more parties. Within a conversation, there are two alternating roles — a listener and a communicator. A conversation will not thrive if both parties are communicating at the same time, neither can it survive if the roles are not alternating between the parties.
A good debate begins when two parties have strong opinions. In order to have an opinion, one must be able to think for themselves. We form opinions based off of research, experiences, and morals among other things. While you are engaged in a debate you provide the reasoning behind your opinion. Your reasoning is ignited by your passion of your personal belief, but what happens when you don’t think for yourself?
We’ve seen in politics that as a politician gives a speech without forming a personal opinion, they are simply regurgitating possible statistics and words of someone else’s thoughts — these politicians usually do not last long in the race for a public position. Instead of forming their own opinion, they become an extension of someone else.
Likewise, when we act without an opinion, but based off of the thoughts of others, we do not truly exist; we are simply a branch to someone else’s tree of ideologies. René Descartes stated, “I think, therefore I am.” The meaning behind this renowned saying can be taken to mean that his existence was confirmed on the sole basis of him being able to think for himself. We can only live once begin to think and, subsequently, form opinions for ourselves. After forming our opinions, no law, person or thing can take our existence away from us.
My point behind this statement is to encourage you bring your opinion to life. Let your voice be heard in the polls and in the classrooms. Voice your thoughts, but you should take heed to avoid falling into the pit of closed-mindedness. It is OK to offer a rebuttal to something; it means that you are truly alive.
Christian Gray is a senior majoring in marketing with a focus in promotion and communications and a minor in economics. He is president of the Student Activities Board. When he’s not planning events or doing schoolwork, you’ll catch him watching something sports related (#KOBE) or vibing out to music. His career goal growing up was to be Batman. He won’t tell you if he was successful on that mission, but let’s be real – have you ever seen him and Batman in the same place before?