Back when I was still an angsty teenager, I had a current affairs class. We brought up current affairs and discussed recent news in class as well as learned how to debate. I, in all my teenage glory, lashed out at my teacher regarding news in the middle east, and screeched about why should I even give a damn. My teacher provided the above quote, and I’ve referenced it every few years since.
A lot of people in this country purposely ignore the news, whether it’s about the Midwest farmers struggling or what moronic thing our government has done that day. It’s a privilege that people believe they have, as surely x, y & z will not effect us! However, that is most definitely not the case even in the broadest of instances.
When you go to the grocery store, and marvel at the prices of food as they increase, if you’d turn on the news, you’d know why. If you see someone filming a police officer making an arrest, if you paid attention to current events, you’d know why. If you rage about getting a ticket for code compliance for something you’d never gotten a ticket for before, reading your town’s newsletter might explain that (or your code compliance officer is a dick like our neighborhood’s).
On the larger scale of current events, it’s even more important to pay attention, in my opinion that is.
When your country is ordering “retaliation” against other countries, you might want to pay attention. Even if you agree, this might effect your family in numerous ways. It could result in a loved one being sent over seas in the military, it could effect your income and prices of goods.
When your government is detaining people in camps, regardless of what you would call the camps, not only should this appall you, but you should pay attention. If your government will detain people that they don’t agree with, regardless of laws, what’s to say that they wouldn’t detain you and your family in the future.
Things you don’t pay attention to effect your daily life quite easily.
Regardless of where you stand with politics and our current laws, hell even our Constitution, knowing your laws, knowing your party/country’s stance on certain things is essential. Why? Every time a new person is elected, they have the opportunity to change those laws, your rights.
Something to always keep in mind is that a country doesn’t always change via a coup or by some other drastic means. Sometimes it’s a very slow, gradual change. So keep your eyes open, that way if your country goes in a direction you don’t like, you’re aware and in a position to do something.
As always, Nazi-Germany is a great example. Do you think that one day people woke up and knew that their neighbors were being carted off to the gas chambers? Nope, because that’s not what happened. First there was rhetoric and propaganda. That progressed to deportations. From there, detention camps started, a la concentration camps. Once labor wasn’t the easiest solution, death camps were created. It wasn’t an overnight thing, it was gradual.. and everything starts somewhere.
The argument that it doesn’t effect you, is almost always null. Politics effect you, whether or not you like it, whether or not you pay attention. In order to understand the world around you, understand the things that are happening and have happened, you have to pay attention.
So please. Pay attention before it’s too late.