The world is a crazy place. It can be hard to allow yourself to let it all in. With terrorist attacks, refugee crises, human trafficking, and an endless list of horrific events, I’m sure we’d all love just to pull the covers over our heads and live in ignorant bliss to avoid the heartache and fear that accompanies such things.
Yet as humans, one of our most beautiful traits is compassion. Nothing touches people as deeply as a complete stranger feeling so moved by their plight, that s/he comes to their aid. It’s an incredible sight, but this can only happen if we are aware of how people are hurting.
It’s easier to live in our own bubbles, where the biggest issues are things directly related to our futures. It’s easier to focus on ourselves and ignore the rest of the world’s problems. But if we want to really lead full lives, we need to start breaking out of our immediate spheres of influence.
So this week I challenge you to get to know the world a little better. Here are three steps to help you do that more effectively:
- Inform yourself. Read or watch the news every day. It doesn’t have to take you hours, even a few minutes can give you a decent grasp of what’s going on in the world. Knowledge is power after all. P18:15 || P24:5
Two quick things to keep in mind:
- Media is always biased in some way; try to get a better understanding of an issue by following it through more than one news source. Personally, I like to follow a liberal, conservative, and international source to get a more clear picture of what’s really happening.
- Go to the source (or as close as you can). We’re self-centered, so American news sources tie the Paris attacks into what it could mean for the U.S. or what we’re doing in the situation. This is important, but to know the best details of what happened there, go to a local Parisian news source.
- Avoid the trap. I cannot say this enough: social media is not news. Think of all the times you’ve posted an article on Facebook; how often is it from an external website? The majority of posts are just re-posting what is already in the Facebook world. There’s an innate bias of delayed information; add to that the obvious bias of everyone else’s opinions flaring up before you get a chance to decide your own. If you’re looking for timely and accurate facts, step away from social media. P15:14 || 1P5:8
- Make it personal. It’s so easy to live with an “out of sight, out of mind” mindset. But what if it was us? What if 9/11 happened and the rest of the world didn’t bat an eye? Wow, that sucks, glad it wasn’t here; oh hey, pass the chips. I mean, really? In times of tragedy we need to come together; we need to support each other outside of our differences. Humanity is our greatest unifier; the fight against true evil is our most noble endeavor. We need to realize that when something happens there, it affects us all. The world is not as big as it used to be; here and there makes no difference, it’s all our backyard. R12:15 || 1C12:26
Humanity is our greatest unifier; the fight against true evil is our most noble endeavor.
Mes amis en France, je suis très désolée. Ma couer est avec votre ville. Je vous aimez; vous êtes mes frères et sœurs.