Dinner time at the Seckler house is like no other. My mom spends a majority of her day preparing a delicious home cooked meal for us. After the table is set, everyone sits down for a meal. Sounds pretty normal right? Well here is where it gets crazy. The food is devoured in the span of 15 minutes, and my parents spend the rest of the night arguing over political topics. Almost every night, I am caught in the middle of an intense back-and-forth. My father, a conservative, and my mother, a liberal, gear up for battle.
One night, after Nike’s advertisement release with Colin Kaepernick a much anticipated argument made its way to the table. My dad insisted that Kaepernick’s actions were unpatriotic, disrespectful, and a national embarrassment. He sided with the millions of people who were burning Nike’s products in order to make it clear that they were unhappy with this new partnership. My mom completely supported the NFL players’ right to peacefully protest. She said that our nation's best changes have come from people protesting for what they believe. She praises football players who use their public platform to remind us that America is great, but we can do better.
Up until that night, I would observe these intense political battles as a spectator. My head would jolt from left to right as each parent made strong persuasive points about whatever topic they were debating. But when I listened to them fight about Kapernick, I realized I was sick of listening to them argue and not being able to engage in their heated discussions. I wanted to be in the game, not watch from the sidelines! I wanted to decide for myself what I believed. So, I read about the issue, discussed it with my mom and dad separately, and talked it over with with my enrichment teacher, a major role model in my life who has been working with me since kindergarten. Even after our discussion, I haven’t figured out where I stand on this issue. But I have discovered that it’s a little less black and white and a little more gray. I am continuing to listen to what others have to say, and encouraging them to speak up! A friend and I were so curious to see what other people thought about this Kaepernick controversy that we created a blog article for our school newspaper. We ended the article not with stating a position, but asking the question “What do you think?” We then left a comment section allowing kids and teachers to voice their opinion on the topic.
Sometimes I think it would be more relaxing to sit at the dinner table and share what I learned in math class that day or complain about how hard coach made us run in soccer practice. But I know that these heated dinner conversations have challenged me to form my own ideas. Going to boarding school will give me the chance to expand on the journey of finding my own voice. I want to continue listening to what others have to say and investigating new controviersities. This will help me find my own voice, and will allow me to say something during the dinner conversations!