About a week ago, Anika Iqbal asked me to attend a Baylor Raideres Against Predjudice (RAP) meeting and my initial thought was one of surprise.
I had always been told that the RAP meetings were mostly one-sided, and my mind was filled with the idea that people would disagree with most of the things I supported. I wondered why they would want someone like me, an outspoken conservative, to attend the meeting. I quickly decided that it would be best not to go out of fear of being singled out because of my political standing or questioned about my beliefs.
I then realized that I was doing the very opposite of what I encouraged people to do when I gave my senior speech. Rather than being willing to go out of my comfort zone and have meaningful conversation, I was letting my fear dictate what I would do. It took me about three days of arguing back and forth with myself until I replied that I would love to join. Even after telling her I wanted to come, I continued to allow my myself to worry about the possible outcomes of the meeting. Looking back now, I realize how ridiculous of a response that was. I can wholeheartedly say that I could not be more impressed with what Baylor RAP is doing. The RAP leaders, by inviting people of other political standings, completely encompassed the point that I was trying to make in my senior speech.
This generation is capable of so much change.
As we near adulthood, we have to be willing to make uncomfortable decisions, step out of our comfort zones, and be willing to go across party lines to have meaningful and constructive conversations. I feel that being able to sit down and have a civil conversation about the state of the country and the issues we are facing is a valuable trait. We must be willing to put aside our differences and work together toward the common goal of a better America. By inviting people to attend their meetings who have differing opinions, RAP is working toward this goal.
I cannot wait to attend another meeting, and I will happily help the RAP team in any way that I possibly can for the remainder of my senior year.