“Be a Healthy Skeptic.”

I know that everyone is not going to agree with me. I mean, I guess that’s okay. However, whatever side of the coin you choose to support I would like for you to be able to articulate the reasons behind your opinion.

I often tell my students that if you can verbalize a well thought and well researched argument as to why you should or should not be allowed to do something then more often than not I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt. I need to understand and fully believe that they have thought about their actions and have taken into account a variety of viewpoints.

My AP Government teacher, Mr. Shepard (best teacher EVER) always told us to be ‘healthy skeptics’. Don’t automatically believe what you are told by your parents, your peers, your teachers, and especially the media.

Listen to what is said, absorb what you read and then do your own research. Figure out how you actually feel about a topic and how the outcome of any given debate will affect you. Unfortunately, we don’t experience a large amount of unbiased media so whether you get your information from FOXNews or the Daily Show you gotta do yourself a favor and take the time to become an informed proponent or opponent. Don’t just spout off what is popular—invest in developing your personal beliefs.

I often stumble onto the uninformed supporter phenomenon aka ‘blind advocate syndrome’ when it comes to people’s political beliefs. Many of us just internalize what our parents believe or we are one issue voters. I’m not sure that this is the best way to cast your vote during the upcoming election season. Be a Republican, be a Democrat, be Independent—just know and understand why you are assigning that label to yourself and your beliefs.

Now, just because you can state your case doesn’t mean we are going to agree but at least I’ll respect you ;).

I urge you to take in as many perspectives as you can before you say that you “believe” in something or someone. Practice the heart of healthy skepticism.

So, what do you think?

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