The other day as I was taking in the beauty and charm of San Diego CA I was part of a conversation in which one of the participants asked who ISIS was. The rest of the group was quick to reprimand the individual for being so ignorant and careless in their knowledge of world events. The question and tongue lashing were soon forgotten and everyone forgot about the whole event as we moved onto different activities. Everyone that is except for me. I was so shocked and offended that this person, a young 20 something college student, did not know about one of the world’s most dangerous organizations. Not only is ISIS a terrorist group but they have waged a huge war that has effected the lives of thousands all over the world. How could they not know this?
The whole intercourse renewed a strain of thought that I have been entertaining off and on over the last year. The thought is that the majority of young people today could give a flying F about what is happening outside of their 18 inch bubble. If something is not happening right now right in front of their very eyes then it is of no or little importance.
This obvious lack of interest shows a generation that has grown up so comfortable and secure that they cannot fathom the possibility that something bad could ever happen to them or this country. That is the tragedy of many American youth. The naive notion that wars in other countries, slavery in different parts of the world, or a flawed government within their own country do not effect them is a tragic and destructive mindset. If we are unaware of what is happening else where then how could we prevent it from happening here? How can the freedom of speech be preserved if we refuse to listen to the ones trying to speak?
Now I realize that the majority of news sources are full of crap. CNN is too left winged, Fox is too right, BBC is perfect, and all the others are whatever. I constantly second guess what I hear and see on the news. There’s a great quote for that, “Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see.” This is true to an extant. But it isn’t an excuse to forgo staying up to date on current events. There is truth being spoken. Truth doesn’t like to hide, so if you look for it you can find it eventually. A good way to do that is have a few different news sources to cross reference with.
The crisis of the world do not have to become a hobby or obsession for you. However, by taking an interest in knowing what is happening you are equipping yourself with knowledge. Yes ISIS is killing people across the sea and Putin is a crazy president from a different country, and North Korea recently discovered how to use computers and it’s all very distant and happening far away from our safe little bubbles. But it affects us. ISIS recruits people from every where even America, we could have a president like Putin if we aren’t careful ourselves, and North Korea for sure wants to blow us to kingdom come. Girls not being viewed as equal members of society in other countries could one day put one of your daughters at risk when she decides to travel and see the world. Children being forced into hard labor and slavery is rampant through out the world and was apart of our recent past. Racism, sexism, homophobia, and hate do not care about borders or oceans or any other kind of barrier. Stay informed. Take an interest. You never know when that knowledge will be the power that saves or helps yourself or another human being.