Stop Being Purposely Uninformed

I’m tired of people my age avoiding the news and current events.

You’ve done it today. Scrolled through your social media and skipped over news highlights of the latest goings on in the world in favour of a meme or a cat video.

You’ve skipped over news of a murder in your state, 0f the floods in Nebraska, of the latest Trump bullshittery, of the latest accident resulting in numerous deaths, of another missing girl, of another domestic attack, of news from around the world that you should probably be informed about at the very least.

Now, I may not be up-to-date on everything happening in the world, but I try to keep up with what’s going on in the world. We live in an age where the information is at our fingertips. Below that adorable bunny rabbit video is a news segment about how someone is putting needles in the seats of the trams and trains that I actually use, and they haven’t been caught yet.

I’d say that’s kind of important to know.

Time and time again, however, when I read an article and bring up whatever it is to the people I’m with, I’m met, more often than not, with indifference or a request to shut up and talk about something else.

I don’t want to know about all of that.
I’m sorry, what the F did you just say?

You don’t want to know about the woman who was murdered on the tram line that you routinely take.

You don’t want to know that you need to be careful?

You’re planning a trip to X country and you don’t want to know about what’s going on there at the moment?

Look, I get it. It’s a shit world out there full of nasty, evil and terrible things and we need to focus on the good, but focusing on the good does not mean ignoring the bad.

We need to stay informed and educated. The information is there, at your fingertips, all that’s left for you to do is reach out and take it.

There are things out there far more important than the Kardashians or which celebrity is marrying or divorcing who. That’s not news.

Do not become complicit in an age of selfies and distractions. Enjoy and celebrate the things that are worth enjoying and celebrating, but don’t look me in the eye and announce your wilful ignorance to me.

Wilful ignorance is complicity, and where we may live in an advanced age beyond that of what we learned in high school history class, but we are not invulnerable to descent or beyond repeating the past.

Yes, it’s impossible to keep up with everything in the world, but lets start with what is immediately around you. The local news. The political climate of your home country and wherever you may be living if you live abroad, like me. I may not have a vote in Australia, but I keep up with the politics. I may not be living in America, but I keep up with everything to do with the news and politics back home, because I do have a vote there, and I’m voting for my future, and my children’s future.

We must strive to leave behind a better world than the one we live in, and we cannot do that with pictures of rainbows and unicorns.

We must start with wilful knowledge.

Know your history.

Know your present.

JLRose is an American fantasy writer, 3D artist and game designer living in Melbourne, Australia. She’s spent the past three years working on the first full-length book of The Galean Universe and has released the first short story of The Lockwood Series.