The right to hold a different opinion

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it. (Evelyn Beatrice Hall.

Political maturity requires the ability to accept opposing views and receive them graciously. The ability to listen is of paramount importance in politics. In a democracy, the ability to speak one’s mind openly – and allow others speak theirs is what is referred to as objectivity.

However, in our nascent democracy, it is interesting when one makes an attempt to dissect the inability of many folks to see anything other than their own opinions as having some merit. Here it will be prudent to remind people that an object viewed from different angles can provide different perspectives even if the variable is constant.

When people have a problem of shortsightedness in their outlook, they approach any and all views/opinions with a preconceived notion which hinders their ability to objectively analyse it and gain something from it.

To begin with, people [Gambians, in this case] should seek to empty their hearts of all emotions regarding things, especially those that they love/like/ support. In this way, they will have the opportunity to view something with the required level of detachment and bring out the best from it.

When it comes to politics, detachment is an excellent trait which is most helpful. It will enable citizens to make wise choices and informed opinions. It will be worthwhile for people to keep in mind that there is relativity in everything. This is important and should be cultivated particularly in and among the youth.

Citizens are urged to endeavor to have open minds and analyse things in an objective and detached manner. Then, they will be able to benefit from it.

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  • Essa Bah

    indeed standard. civic education is the key to spreading these concepts. I am not sure our political parties have any strategy in their manifesto to educate the population.
    Democracy cannot flourish and be sustain without the ability to DISCUSS ISSUES THROUGH, TOLERATE DIVERGENT VIEWS and FOLLOW THE RULE OF LAW. It is virtually impossible to have the same view with everyone else. I think you should have a section on civic education in your paper and other media outlets print and broadcast should do the same.