COLUMN: While haters hate, do better

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By Noah Pearson, Columnist

Follow them at @tbhimscared

During the walkout against gun control, a couple conservative students representing EC Republicans staged a mini counterprotest. Following the event, controversy over comments made by one of the organizers of the walkout inspired the counter protesters to express that they felt attacked by the organizers on social media. Angry with them, I was tempted to respond and prepare an argument until I remembered a saying from the Jocko Podcast hosted by Jocko Willink: Ignore, outperform. 

This simple piece of advice just means that while those who oppose you work themselves to death trying to show their opposition, don’t confront them, don’t pay them any mind, just keep working until you’re satisfied with your own achievement. When the haters hate, don’t stop yourself from being great. 

Everyone on the planet has been faced with opposition of some kind, be it a conflict of ideology, a middle school bully, or even a teacher whose grading system you don’t agree with. 

In these situations we are faced with two options, fight or flight. The first may stop the bully, maybe even forever, but at what cost? How much energy are we willing to invest in someone that we don’t like? How much of our lives are we willing to spend fighting some antagonizer or bully when we could be spending it on ourselves. 

We rarely explore the merit in flying. At first it may appear a cowardly act, but what makes it valuable is how we spend our time after flying. 

Instead of risking ourselves, becoming frustrated when the opposition still doesn’t understand, and being to tired and annoyed to continue the conversation, we can relax, regroup, and keep on truckin’ with what we were planning on doing in the first place. 

Even if we pass the mic, even if we hear the opposition, their words don’t have to mean anything to us. Everyone has legal rights to express themselves. Everyone has a right to free speech. However, no one is obligated to take speech we don’t like to heart. They may be upset that we don’t represent their views, but in the end them being upset doesn’t mean the momentum from the walkout has to die.

When counter protesters show up there is no need to stop calling your representatives. There is no need to drop everything just because someone else is upset about what your message is. 

The important thing to recognize is that this is not a partisan statement. 

There are at least two sides to any argument. However, in the end there can either be one winner or none. What happens often is that the arguers get so caught up in an argument that they forget what really matters: action. 

The proof comes from the action. Who does the best follow up? Who meets more consistently? Who’s programming is more attended? Who controls political narratives? Who do people view as role model and leader within their communities? Who better creates that sense of community in the first place?

The answer to those questions are often clear, and unsurprisingly point to the person who you tried adding on Facebook to pick a fight with while they worked on their vision for the campus. 

No matter how many irritated centrists comment on a Facebook thread, our movement and our vision for this campus lives on through us.