“Just wait until you take Dr. Mitchell’s class. He’ll change your mind,” said the lumbering senior.
“Once you go through his class you’ll come to our side of things.”
“Like hell I will!” I replied back.
I looked at him with an extremely amused look on my face. The sarcasm machine was charging up inside my brain. It was gonna be a blood bath.
In those split seconds before giving my firm statement that I would never give in, my brain went nuts with thoughts and questions.
“Did he seriously just threaten me with a college level class?”
“Why does he think a class will radically change my mind on this issue?”
“Is he joking? Shit, I hope he’s joking or this is pretty sad.”
“Does he seriously think my views are so shallow that one class can change them?”
“The class can’t be that amazing…”
What hurt the most, though, was the thought that my views were inconsequential to this guy.
I had presented what I believed, made a decent argument, and his response was to mock me with a sophomore level class.
He could’ve been serious. Who knows?
But the fact is, he didn’t feel my stance was worth responding to. He opted for threatening me with a two semester long class.
A stereotypical academic response. If it doesn’t agree with you shove it through some classes until it does. Obviously the poor squirt isn’t educated enough.
This senior’s poor attempt at presenting an argument is what happens when someone trivializes your beliefs.
If you’ve ever been the budding political teenager, you know what I mean.
Most adults love the idea of a teen “getting involved.” But when you say something they don’t agree with, they quickly remind you that “you’re young.”
“Well, you’re pretty young. Just wait until you get a little older, you’ll come to see it from my point of view.”
News flash: stop belittling my age…you old farts. Last time I checked, you guys screwed this country up.
I don’t know why they do it.
Maybe it’s a superiority complex. Maybe it’s arrogance, or ignorance. Maybe they just think they’re better than you and I.
What I do know is how you can deal with it.
When someone trivializes your views, when they dis your views because of who you are, you need to learn how to bounce back.
You also need to remember that this will happen throughout your life.
Some people are superficial. They’ll use anything to “one up” you.
Your Age Has Nothing to do with It
I get it, it’s easy to say I’m ignorant because of my age. Luckily for me that’s becoming less of a problem.
I’m almost 21. How long can they keep harping on me for my age?
Pretty long actually.
Someone’s always going to look down on you because of your age.
You could be 17, or 25. It doesn’t matter.
Age is an easy excuse to dismiss someone’s opinion.
“You’re just 20. How would you know how [blank] is like?”
You might as well say you think I’m incapable of knowing anything substantial because I’m 20. Go ahead and tell me I’m stupid because I’m young. See if I give a shit.
Yes, there’s something to be said about the older you get the wiser you become. Do older people know more and have a more diverse set of experiences?
I’ve come to realize that age isn’t tied with knowledge. And experiences, those differ drastically from person to person.
See, I like to judge people on the sum of their maturity, knowledge, and wisdom. I don’t care if they’re 40 or 14. If you can keep up an interesting conversation I’m going to appreciate what you bring to the table.
Regardless of age.
Age is a superficial standard these days.
You’re capable of so much regardless of how old you are.
Who Cares About Your Class?
Like age, education can be another trivializing factor.
“Oh you went to that school? You must be really smart and wise!”
Education is useless if you don’t turn it into wisdom. Head knowledge is a waste of a good brain.
Remember that senior I mentioned in the beginning? He had faith that one class could change my worldview. That was his mistake.
If I actually took the class (you know, before I dropped out of college), it would’ve had little effect on my worldview.
For starters, my worldview was already established. I didn’t have a shallow understanding of the issues.
One class isn’t going to make a drastic change. Even if I kept an open mind about it all, it wouldn’t change much.
Education alone won’t change worldviews. It takes an understanding of it for change to occur.
You can go to Harvard, get your cute little degree. You can be hailed as some super intelligent individual.
That doesn’t stop some random kid who’s barely out of highschool from being smarter than you.
If you never processed the information. If you’ve never turned it into wisdom. If it’s still head knowledge. What good is it all?
It’s not your education that’s important, it’s how good you can turn it into understanding and wisdom.
What to do When You’re Pushed to the Side
First off, you need to realize that people who dis you for your age or education are narrow minded arrogant nits. Who are obviously losing the argument.
How do you deal with someone who’s belittling your views because of age or education?
Since I don’t have much respect for people like that, here’s my answer.
Laugh at them and get some amusement out of them.
People like that aren’t worth the effort.
The best you can do is look amusingly at them and throw a few pointed questions their way. Or better yet, mock their “logic.”
Their logic is based on a dichotomy. If you’re older, you’re wiser. If you’ve taken this class, you’re smarter.
Mock that dichotomy. Mock their “wisdom.” Mock the ridiculous education they went through.
And when you’re done, just leave.
They’re not the worth the effort.
In outreach, you have to ignore some to reach the rest.
We can’t make every person open minded. We can’t make every conversation civil and meaningful. We can’t change everyone’s mind.
But we can focus on the people who are open to our ideas.
When someone trivializes you, leave them alone in their mud pit. They’ve been happy there for quite a while.
They’ll be juuuuusstt fine.