Consider pets and how they express their opinions. Dogs, for example, express their opinions by barking or wagging their tails. Cats express theirs when they purr and meow. These animals do not relent until they get attention.

We all have opinions, but these opinions matter only when we express them, and we need to keep expressing them until we are heard.

Our ability to express our opinions is among the reasons we are at the top of the ladder in the hierarchy of beings. Humans differ from other animals because we express ourselves using language. When Aristotle wrote that “man is a social animal”, he meant that humans survive by connections and mutual understandings. To be understood, one must be expressive; one must first express an opinion either in words or in deed. We connect best with the people that express themselves to us.

There is a reason we love our pets. We hear their opinions and they hear ours. Our opinions are our stories. When cats purr and dogs wag their tails, they are telling us their stories. It is easy to love someone when we know their story. It is easy to be loved and understood by others when we share our stories. We need to be relentless with our opinions until we are heard.

There is a great divide in America that we all can see. There is a great divide in the world and we all can feel it. The liberals cannot reach the conservatives, the rich cannot see the poor and the religions cannot join forces together to build us a bridge to heaven. So, we clash: physically, mentally, politically. Chaos is the result when people’s opinions go unheard and misunderstood.

Many of us cannot recall the last time we expressed an opinion demanding a change or an opinion acknowledging and encouraging the good. Some of us cannot claim to have been persistent with our stories.

Every change in our world began with an opinion expressed. The civil rights movement is an opinion. The #metoo movement is an opinion, a passionate and relentless expression of female stories of harassment and inequality. Finally, women are slowly but surely wrenching justice and receiving their rightful dues from patriarchy.

Very few opinions are expressed at UVU and even fewer still are heard. Many of the opinions we hold are not self-evident. We are often wrong when we think the administration, faculty, fellow students and even our families know of our fears, concerns and wants.

Some of us are slowly becoming aware that our leaders, our politicians do not know or share our concerns. They will never know if we don’t express these opinions. We will not get their attention if we don’t continually tell our stories.

The opinion section of the UVU Review is one platform where opinions and stories can be shared. The section is open to everyone’s opinion regardless of race, religious belief, political affiliation or nationality. We want to hear your opinion, whatever it may be. If there are more conservative opinions expressed, it might be because more conservatives bother to express their opinions. If there are more liberal opinions, it might be that more liberals feel they need to share their stories. We want to hear from the administration, from the faculty, from the students. Every facet of the UVU community should be represented in the school paper. Send us that idea, that grievance, that observation, that encouragement. This is the only way we can make positive and sustainable change.

Consider dogs and cats. They never relent until their opinions are heard and addressed. If we humans are higher animals, surely we can do better.