Hear it Out: As the year comes to an end, it is important to listen to other people’s opinions, appreciate distinctive perspectives


Adhi Ramkumar

In today’s society, we are plagued with endless controversies, both big and small. From light-hearted debates about Chipotle versus Qdoba to polarizing conflicts over gun control and abortion, we are constantly surrounded by chatter on various topics. Conflict provides an avenue for us to transcend the mundane reality of day-to-day life and become passionate and curious about the world around us. Through the process of engaging in debate, we are able to grow as thinkers and develop our own stances on issues by considering and modifying diverse perspectives and viewpoints.

The ability to hear out other opinions helps us in our quest toward becoming well-rounded individuals and is becoming increasingly important in the workforce today. According to a Global Recruiting Trends report released in 2018, approximately 62 percent of employers want to hire people with diverse perspectives and opinions for companies, which demonstrates the growing value of being open to listening to others and embracing diversity. Given the large size of our school, we have students who come from different walks of life, and therefore bring unique sets of thought to the table. Accordingly, what strengthens the community of students at this school is not the number of students at this school, but rather the sheer diversity in thought, opinion and background everyone carries.

In fact, I think this very section of the newsmagazine epitomizes the ability of distinctive opinions to bring people together and achieve unity through differences. This past year, we’ve featured opinions on cats versus dogs, the efficacy of all-school convocations, the merits of horoscopes, the need for promposals and many more. What’s really interesting is that many of these perspectives do not necessarily oppose or denounce one another, but rather present meaningful insight on the same topic. The goal of this section is to get people interested in pertinent topics of debate and provide a springboard for conversations readers might have with others. This section, in other words, provides a conducive environment for fostering debate. While the motive is never to persuade readers to necessarily wholeheartedly agree with a stance, the hope is they will leave with a renewed understanding on a topic in a manner they never thought about before. As I pass on this section to next year’s op-ed team, it is my hope that students will continue to listen to others and appreciate heterogeneity.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Adhi Ramkumar at [email protected]