While most of us are aware of which political party we support, sometimes we don’t take the time to think about what shaped our views. However, there are many reasons we grow up to believe certain things. Keep reading as we discover what shapes our political views and why we should be aware of this to keep on growing and learning as we progress through life.
The Road to Character
by David Brooks
⏱ 14 minutes reading time
🎧 Audio version available
Your Family’s Influence
Without a doubt, the number one reason many individuals support a certain political party is due to their family. If you grew up in a household with strong political opinions, you might have adopted these from a young age. On the other hand, you may find your family’s beliefs to be completely against those of your own. Our families have a considerable influence on our lives and what we think is right or wrong. However, it’s not until we enter our adult lives that we start to separate ourselves from our families and realize we can form our own opinions. It’s so important to think for yourself as you grow older. If you feel you are voting in a certain way to appease your family, take a hard look at yourself and think about whether you are voting for the right reasons still.
Where You Grew Up
Where you lived in your early years plays a huge part in your political views. Individuals who relocated elsewhere during their college or adult years might suddenly notice they are introduced to different political beliefs and ideas. This is something that we think many people could benefit from. When you start to see how other people live, you learn more about the world around you and how other people could benefit from your vote. Especially for those who have had a very privileged life, we encourage you to step away from your personal situation and learn more about the world around you.
Some schools and colleges offer excellent political education, while others are very lacking in this area. The access you had to education will also impact your political views. If you were fortunate enough to make your way through your schooling and college easily, you might not understand how much of a struggle this is for other people. While politics often stay out of the classroom, it certainly makes its way into some lessons today. We encourage older students to enter into friendly debates and try learning from their peers to help broaden their views about the world around them.
Politics in Your Local Community
Depending on where you live currently, you may find that politics are discussed everywhere you turn. Some areas are known for having billboards and demonstrations on every corner, giving you the chance to reflect on your political values constantly. The more you get to know people in your local neighborhood, the more likely your political views will shift in the future. As we grow older and keep educating ourselves, there’s nothing wrong with changing how we think about the world. Just remember to treat everyone in your local community with kindness regardless of what you think about their political views.
Employment and Income
As adults, the opportunities we have often come down to the job we find ourselves in and how much we earn each year. While there are people who support different political parties with every level of income, we often associate certain professions with different political parties. Your income plays a huge part in how much support you require from the government, so keep this in mind when voting in the future. We recommend learning more about what you would do if you found yourself earning a different amount from what you do now. Politics isn’t just about voting for what benefits you the most and should also keep in mind the greater good of the community around you.
Causes You Are Passionate About
If there’s one cause you are particularly passionate about, such as women’s rights or income equality, this will heavily dictate your political views. Sometimes, this one cause can override all of our other beliefs as we feel so strongly about it. The events in our life often play a huge part in how we vote as we grow up. Even one minor event might change the course of your life. Particularly for those who have been victims of various situations in the past, you might find yourself voting to support anyone else who is going through a similar situation. We all draw upon our past and current experiences regarding politics, as we hope these will work to influence the world around us positively.
Why Does Knowing What Shapes Your Political Views Matter?
After discovering the main reasons behind your political views, you may be wondering why this even matters. It’s so important for us to notice the biases and influences that we’ve experienced in our life, which may alter our political views for the better or worse. We think it’s important to always think about the events and circumstances that may change someone’s political views when discussing politics with anyone in your life. While you might not agree with someone’s views, you need always to respect their opinions. By understanding what shapes our views, we can become more open-minded and engage in friendly conversations to learn more about the world around us.
Our political views play a huge part in our everyday lives, but it’s important to reflect upon why you believe these things in the first place. When voting in the future, we encourage you to take the time to learn about your options and ensure you are supporting causes that are important to you and your local community. The more we learn about our local community and the world as a whole, the more we can support those in need even when our beliefs don’t match.
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