The given prompt asks the question, “What’s the one thing that will get you to pick up a book or click on a link every single time?” My response is simple: anything that is up for debate. Author and environmentalist Edward Abbey once stated, “How could anything non-controversial be of intellectual interest to grown-ups?” I’m definitely described as a multi-faceted person, embodying a plethora of various studies and beliefs. This being said, a wide range of subjects interest me – factual content is always beneficial, personal accounts are amusing. But what captures my undivided attention is controversy – I cannot identify with the passive individual who is complacently ignorant and refutes development of opinion. I feel that it is imperative to have a stance on important controversial topics; this refers back to Hamilton’s statement, “Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.” Despite the fact that this cliché is reblogged ten thousand times on Tumblr (typically meaning the post is of no scholarly merit), the concept couldn’t be more accurate – to truly be knowledgeable in a contentious subject, one must be familiar with various perspectives and form a personal opinion that can be supported with dependable information. To simply become a conformist of others’ ideas is unprofitable, considering most base their opinions by referring to untrustworthy sources. (e.g. No, Obama is not constructing concentration camps for conservatives… however, he is socialist.) The example given is most definitively a controversial statement, and any reader who passionately disagrees now feels the need to comment on this post in order to degrade me and my thoughts towards this issue. Bingo! – controversy produces discussion, intensity, and the opportunity to share one’s conceitedly dogmatic thoughts. (This is why everyone feels the need to criticize, for example, a post that praises Miley Cyrus as a role model.) Anyhow, when participating in these heated conversations, it is always important to consider the opposing party. Feel free to solicit my opinions on issues concerning religion, media, sexuality, environment, politics, and so forth; I would love to hear others thoughts as well. We are all intellectuals striving for excellence in thinking and constantly in need of reproof. Growth is caused by open-mindedness, respect for the opposed is imperative, and eclectic education is key.
written for The Daily Post, Daily Prompt: Reading Material