Tuesday, February 22, 2011

On being informed.

This link summarizes, in a brief and understandable way, the events occurring in Libya. Before you deem this irrelevant and continue scrolling past, I encourage you to take a moment to read the rest of this post.

I think it's hard for most Americans to keep up with news that isn't happening at our doorsteps. There's something about our culture that breeds an unfortunate way of thinking, something like, if it isn't happening to us, why should I care? I am not the most informed person. I am embarrassed to say that I do not read or watch the news daily. But I pay attention enough to know that big things are happening. Big things are always happening. I was able to spend some time watching my local news this morning, and they did not mention anything that was happening in Libya, but felt it was necessary to include a segment on a rumor that Justin Bieber will be changing his signature hairstyle. To say that this saddens me would be a vast understatement.

Someone on tumblr said it well: "[...] I want to say that I have been completely unwilling to inform myself in the past. I didn’t want to know what was happening, because if I didn’t know, I couldn’t feel depressed and I couldn’t worry about it when I was supposed to be sleeping. It wouldn’t hurt me to breathe and I wouldn’t feel like crying. I wouldn’t be angry, if I didn’t know, so I didn’t look. So what I’m saying is, I understand if you don’t want to know. I understand, and I ask you to give it a chance. Be informed. Show your support. Even if the extent of your knowledge is Things Are Happening in Libya, that’s okay. Tell someone else that Things Are Happening, because they might want to know. These are important times, important moments."

It doesn't matter that a revolution may not be happening in your country. It's happening on your planet. It's happening to other human beings. Think of it as a ripple in a body of water analogy. We, as a species and primary impactors of this planet, have a responsibility to take care of each other. At the very least, care about each other. This is important. It is relevant.