It’s fairly hard to ignore the fact we live among a highly concentrated population of LDS members. Yet even though there is a high percentage of single faith followers in this area and at our school, one does not have to strain to find the perspective of the non-LDS community. They tend to speak a little louder to have their voices heard above the cacophony of conservative thought, most obviously when their ideas are in opposition to the standard beliefs. The question is, how does each side address the other at our school?
Considering this state’s history, the university’s founders, the existence of a church institute on campus, it should be no surprise to anyone that the generally conservative nature of the people here has the local universities following suit. So when students speak out looking for change, especially in ways that won’t affect Sunday worship, why is there such an outrage from the LDS community? It can’t be that bad to think that there are others in this state that want to live life differently.
It is refreshing to know that there is still diversity in a historically uniform state. But a very un-refreshing facet rears its head on occasion when the against-the-grain camp feels it necessary to speak ill of another’s beliefs. This is done on both sides, but far too often when these non-conservative ideas or thoughts are brought up, a need seems to arise to criticize the various ways that the LDS belief system is impinging on it. Will those criticized really take such immaturity seriously?
Perhaps treating the grain with a little more respect might gain more credibility.
When does the need arise to treat someone with a different belief system with anything but dignity? In the words of Jack Nicholson, can’t we all just get along? If you’re one who holds to the idea that you give out what you get and you’re not getting any respect, then nothing is going to change. Perhaps you want an olive branch from the other side first; what if they are thinking the same thing? You’ll both be waiting longer than you need to. Perhaps you’re the rare person that feels no need to give out respect and decency in any manner, and there’s no reason you should change in the slightest. Good luck to you. You’ll need it.
The greatest form of change is brought about when those in opposition come together, not to settle their differences or change how they think, but to live as harmoniously as possible despite their differences. The first way we can make our campus and community a little better is by addressing those on the other side of the fence with a little bit more respect.