Stay curious. Between myself and @jtotheizzoe repeatedly submitting this forward, recognizing one’s own areas of ignorance is the first step toward actual individual change. You’d be surprised how far that can not only take you, but completely shift your entire perspective on who you were, are, and strive to become.
Carl Sagan once suggested “if you wait long enough, everything changes.” Why wait? I’ve come across so many people who passively surrender to the idea that if whatever “doom and gloom” scenario (i.e. ‘problem’) isn’t going to immediately affect them tomorrow or in their lifetime, what’s it to them? This is a terrible illness, and one all of us need to be aware of and able to greet with counter-optimism while capitalizing on these moments to engage and educate with those not paying nearly enough attention to the time period in which they live.
Notice I didn’t say “the world around them”. That’s because the “world” is subjective and respective to each individual and their understanding of this crazy thing called life and existence. Some may take a good look around and conclude that the only “world” worthy of their attention is the one outside their front door and immediate locale. Others may not be able to see their “world” beyond the pseudo-boundaries of their state, country, or continent. And still, others have decided they cannot grasp or even attempt to humor the concept of the “world” beyond their human lifetime, so why try? That’s for the thinkers, doers, geniuses, or residents of the ivory tower that is intellectualism.
“I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness…
The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.”
― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
Not understanding science may be the most significant impediment toward speedy growth and maturation of the human species. When we have far too many politicians (i.e. “leaders” and “decision-makers”) swaying the pendulum of societal and global influence via opinions, biases, monetary (short term) gain, and ignorance of the fields of study with which underpin the issues they preside over, either molasses-like/nonexistent growth or lethal calamity ensues. It’s become our duty as members of our tribes, family members of our biologically diverse womb we call Earth, and stewards of life in this Universe to act as such; and that means utilizing the tools at our disposal to sidestep naysayers, skirt around artificial boundaries, hold accountable those who do not have the foresight or the intellectual faculties to make logical decisions based upon the consensus of evidence, and embrace change by consulting with those on the leading frontier of our collective knowledge.
We are the first generation of humans with the ability to communicate, assemble, coordinate, and direct actual motion in order to effectively change the course of humanity on the smallest to grandest of scales. The internet has become a powerful tool, and it will only continue to empower the individual who uses it to enlighten themselves through their own curiosity, research, and ability to plug into all of the steadily arising and expanding conduits and faculties created from the need to distinguish, assess, and tackle issues long overdue for correction, or problems we have not yet encountered but must prepare and equip subsequent generations to face head on.