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Final Thoughts: Be careful what you care about

by | Sep 2, 2015 | Opinions | 0 comments

What do you care about? As we enter the new school year, you might find yourself placing a heavy emphasis on your academics, social life, and the future — and that’s great.

But what do you care about that isn’t directly a part of your own world? Do you care about pop culture? Foreign affairs? Politics?

It varies for each of us, but it seems that a growing number of people are beginning to lose sight of the things that we should truly care about and, instead, are focused more on the senseless, frivolous and, quite simply, the unimportant.

It’s probably fair to say that we’re all guilty of this to some extent, though some of us are guiltier than others. In 2015, we’re living in a time where people allot more hours to the Kardashians than they do to current events, thus creating an alarming number of people who are unaware of human rights violations, international affairs, local politics and the like.

[pullquote]Why is it that so many of us fail to care about the kind of stuff that dramatically affects millions of lives?[/pullquote] For some people, a lack of compassion could be to blame. Others may be too lazy to spend the time it takes to educate themselves about the big picture.

Some people might blame our generation’s tendency to become distracted from reality by our extremely privileged lives, but there doesn’t seem to be a definitive answer as to why we care about what we care about, whether they be matters of importance or not.

It’s pretty easy to get wrapped up in a lot of the nonsense that litters our conversations and social media timelines. If you feel that you might be uniformed, it’s not entirely your fault. It’s not your fault, for example, that mainstream media recently released a huge number of news stories covering the death of Cecil the Lion, thus overshadowing stories of human suffering and loss that were happening all around the world at the same time. Imbalances in media representation of a variety of issues and peoples often bring our society’s priorities into question, though it’s not entirely fair to blame our own shortcomings on our nation’s news outlets.

In reality, we don’t know about certain things because we choose not to know about them. Ever scroll through your Twitter feed and see a headline for an important story, but you just kept scrolling? Maybe it was too morbid or too boring or too time-consuming to read, so you brushed it aside and chose to look at cat gifs instead.

That’s not to say that there isn’t a time and place for cat gifs, beefs between rappers and, yes, even the Kardashians. The realities of the world can be harsh, and they can weigh heavy on the heart, making it important to find a balance between paying attention to matters of grave importance and those that might be nothing more than entertaining.

Should you know that hundreds of millions of people don’t have enough food to be properly nourished every day? Of course. Should you be aware of the hardships that the people of Palestine face every day? Absolutely. Should you also know that “Deez Nuts “ is running for president? Why the hell not? That’s freaking hilarious.

Finding harmony between the issues that occupy your mind in a wonderful and horrible world eliminates some of the weight we can (and should) feel on our shoulders while still providing us with the opportunity for more simple pleasures. Life is to be enjoyed, and while it’s important that we do this, it’s equally important to remember that not everybody has that opportunity.

Fully understanding the happenings of the world in which we live takes time and effort — an effort that will likely prove worthwhile for students (you know, the people who pay thousands of dollars each year to get an education). Many of us plan on pursuing the mission of making the world a better place in some way, shape or form, but we can’t make a positive change in the world if we don’t know what the heck it is that needs to change.

We’re in university because we understand the importance of knowledge and how it can impact our world. Round out your education with a broad investigation of the world and what happens in it every single day. Stay informed, stay mindful, and stay educated throughout this coming school year.

Anna McMillan

The Griff


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