Isaac Parrish

I don’t mind passionate people. In fact, I used to be jealous of them, something that transformed into respect as I got older. Possessing immense knowledge and excitement for a certain topic is something I’ve always found admirable, and I’m usually able to learn a lot if I ever have a conversation with such a person.
Certain individuals, however, make these conversations more difficult than they need to be; an extreme example is my friends who take a stance in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The war is a very interesting topic I know close to nothing about and is certainly worth the attention.
Unfortunately, the friends I have who side with Palestine are so passionate about their stance that they’re almost blind to the opposing perspective. I’m afraid of ever seriously asking about the current climate or why my friends think the way they do, only because I feel like treading those dangerous waters might end up getting me chewed out. Because of their adamant views. I don’t do this because I have any genuine stance but because I’m afraid of them thinking that I might have one which opposes their own adamant opinions.
It’s completely normal for people to plainly ignore specific subjects if they feel it’s not immediately important to them. I straight ignore certain cases because I don’t think they’re worth the time. Others I only try to remain uninvolved in, so I don’t end up opposing the opinion of somebody who knows a lot more than I do. That way, I can avoid feeling like an idiot.
My own reluctance to argue might stem from my lack of a competitive nature. My parents tell me that when I was little, I used to be on a tee-ball team I never took seriously enough. Regardless of whether we won or lost, I’d always remain nonchalant after each game. The sport held no value to me. My parents later signed me up for soccer, as well, but it mostly ended with the same result as tee-ball.
My apathetic attitude wasn’t exclusive to sports. Whether it’s a matter of controversial political stances or who in the room gets the last cookie on the plate, I’ve never been animated when it came to debatable issues. I’m the guy who would give up the cookie, figuring it wasn’t worth the effort to fight over.
I used to be more self-conscious about my “dull” personality, as little insecure Isaac would’ve interpreted it, but over time I’ve come to realize that I’m not the only one who acts this way. According to “Psychology Today,” researchers in 2012 estimated that introverts made up 26 to 50 percent of the population, while extroverts made up the other 50 to 74 percent.
Quiet types like myself are counterbalanced in society by those who pursue very vocal activities like advertisers, fund-raisers and political activists. The goals of these outspoken people are to convince us why their subjects are worth the attention and have many a time succeeded, swaying the opinions of communities across the globe.
This isn’t a bad thing; many of our world’s problems are fixed via worldwide cooperation, and that wouldn’t happen without the appropriate leaders. I think those who harbor dedication for a certain topic and wish to see others convey the same feeling ought to learn how the feeling is most effectively spread.
I believe the traits that help the most with the vocal type’s success in life often comes down to being their own openness and professional demeanor. When someone else would express a common interest in a certain subject with these sorts of people, the “leaders” do a good job of making sure they feel included and respected.
A worthy club president for Young Republicans or Young Democrats wouldn’t object to providing an unbiased overview of American politics before they then explain why they believe their own stance is correct. While I’m sure either president would do that now, I don’t know if either would do so of their own initiative; they’d have to be prompted.
The fact that other people have to first ask for an unbiased explanation is what I see as the problem; aspiring leaders should have to do that on instinct, as it is the one trait needed to ensure they’re effectively attracting followers.I often find myself intimidated when it comes to certain subjects, especially the more controversial ones, which, unfortunately, also usually happen to be the most important. Something as serious as the war in Israel/Palestine certainly deserves a passionate attitude, I’m sure. Nonetheless, entering a conversation with the mindset of a Palestinian or Israeli when you’re talking with someone who knows nothing about the history will steer away any potential allies due to their fear of saying something that might sound foolish or insensitive.
If you want to effectively make change, learn to effectively make friends first.