Kelly Payak is a 16 yr old who lives in New Jersey and enjoys writing, baking, and the history channel.
From liberals to conservatives, democrats and republicans, one of the only things agreed upon is that there is little to be agreed upon. As a teen that goes to school, hangs out with friends with different opinions, and survived the hostile aftermath of the recent presidential elections, it’s safe for me to say that we need to handle our differences more calmly.
One especially heated debate is the one on abortion. Pro-Life activists vehemently argue that abortion is murder, while my fellow pro-choicer agrees that it is the women’s right to choose. Regardless of what you believe in, it is important for us as a society to remember that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. The abortion debate has no doubt in the past produced many fights and staunchly determined sign-carriers from both sides to stand through rain and snow in the streets- and all because people have a passion for their cause. Passion is great- it creates art, it allows opportunities for people to unleash their feelings strongly, but it can also be dangerous.
Recently, a doctor who provided late term abortions was slain in Kansas by a pro-life activist. On May 31st, Scott Roeder, 51, shot Dr. Tiller, one of the few doctors who preformed late term abortions. “The anti-abortion fanatics have to shut up and go home. They have to back off and they have to respect other people’s point of view. This is an outrage, this is a national outrage.” Dr. Warren Hern, another late-term abortion provider, commented on Dr. Tiller’s death. Others had said “Good riddance” to the abortion clinic remaining permanently closed, saying history will remember it as it remembers concentration camps. When is violence the answer to a heated debate? It shouldn’t ever be. 16 yr old Julia Condreno says “It’s sick what people do to each other because they can’t agree. If they’re all dead, we’ll never even have the chance to agree or disagree.” So with this in mind, the younger generation needs to understand that with our differences, we must always strive towards one goal: working to live peacefully in our disagreements. The Abortion debate is getting too violent, and people getting hurt or killed to make a point isn’t a pro-life or pro-choice goal.
5 Ways to Peacefully Debate
1. Remember that above all, a debate is a conversation, where both parties must contribute
2. Thinking of your opinions only won’t get you anywhere but on peoples’ bad sides
3. Remember that respect and kindness is crucial to understanding. To persuade, it’s always best to know it’s easier to catch flies with honey than with vinegar.
4. Remember who you are talking to, and respect their background. Are they religious, a vegetarian, from a specific place? Don’t say anything in your argument that is ignorant or offensive.
5. Control your temper. No matter how aggravating or wrong someone might seem to be, screaming and cursing is never acceptable in a debate between anyone.
The teens of today will be the leaders of tomorrow. If we can learn from the history of violence in any dispute, especially the abortion controversy, we can remember that we need to all be pro-peace, before anything else.