Fundamental Disagreements on Campus

For all my life, I have existed at the center of some form of relative controversy. Here at college, especially, I find myself, perhaps more and more, encountering individuals who I so fundamentally either do not understand or entirely disagree with. I use strong words because that is how I truly feel. I would wager that most people here on campus, if pressed with questions, would admit to holding views entirely backwards from my own – from another planet!

Or perhaps…I am the backwards one…everyone else is looking forwards and I arrive from another planet with my perspective?

My skeptical instinct is to fight my own ego…”this is normal. In fact, you are not unique. Most people feel like outsiders at times. It is not particularly different to have these types of thoughts, as many worry about fitting in and finding friends, etc.”

Likely true. I think many people take on their demons, sometimes befriending their monsters, and evolving as a person.

But this is not my point. The truth is that I am not worried about finding friends, though I always enjoy meeting other people. I do not have anxiety over “figuring out what to do” with my next few years, etc.

Instead, I am laser focused on identifying the truth. And I fear that one party is very very wrong. Either I am misguided or the herds are following the wrong shepherd.

I care a lot about the future. I want progress. I want the world to be better, and most of the time, am optimistic that we can and will get there. But it will not just happen.

And from my lens, it will surely not “just happen” if what is happening on college campuses today persists in the near future.

So what is the root of this “fundamental disagreement?”

It is hard for me to synthesize, but if I had to, I would characterize it using the following questions: “what is (professionally and personally) cool and what is important?”

I think, if you asked the campus these questions, you would, of course, get a wide variety of answers. But I think you would indeed be surprised at the lack of intellectual diversity: most people think the same.

The devil does not necessarily need an advocate; but the world does need independent thinkers. We need kind people, not nice people.

I am weird. Maybe? I certainly disagree with how many people here on campus view the world.

None of my close, old friends would describe me as particularly agreeable. I would not either. In fact, I would admit: I am not an easy person to have a simple conversation with…I have always wondered why that is the case? Why could I not just go with the flow, “smile and wave,” and ignore the beat of my own drum?

Also published on Medium.