I have been fairly interested in current events since required by my third grade social studies class to find a news article per week. This continued into college, and further into my profession as an English teacher when I made students do the same on a weekly basis. There is something greatly satisfying about knowing things, but this often comes at a price.
For me, it is very difficult being at home, not because of the atmosphere but because of the blatant lack of information. Often in the background, my father is typically watching FOX News and only FOX News. I am not using this post to criticize the news company, but I am disheartened that the only opinion my dad gets on current events is from one, very biased news source. The first thing I taught my students, when reading articles, is to identify bias and to actively search for other opinions. This is not evident in my dad’s demeanor; he fits the classical description of conservative. I often find myself in a precarious position when speaking about politics with him because, unlike him, I research consistently and constantly. The immigration of thousands of children from our boarder, to me, should be well thought about. Not because I’m a democrat and believe these kids need the best, but because we, as a country, were founded on the principles of immigration. To deny these children entry is to deny the basic, fundamental rights we inherited when we demolished the Native American population in the early 1700s upon our arrival.
Again, this is not an opportunity to bash a political moment, a tv station, or the like. I am just fed up with a culture of obliviousness to knowledge. Knowledge gives us the ability to reason what is right and wrong, and it is something we should all be interested (and invested) in.
“Know it all syndrome”
I attended mass this morning with my parents. We had some transitional priest share with us about the multiplying fish and bread, which scientifically is impossible and more likely a metaphor in the power and reach of sharing with the poor – but I digress. Anyway, during the homily, the priest had mentioned something about traveling to Pike’s Peak and it being the tallest point in the US. Wrong. Then mentioned, for whatever reason, that soil affected the weather. Wrong.
I hate to criticize because I do the same thing, but publicly pretending you know information is just wrong. It makes one look like a fool if people, like me, take the time to point out the fallacy in the words. Because this information was incorrect, who is to say that his entire interpretation of the bible was inaccurate. Furthermore, this lays question on the infallibility complex that the Catholic Church suggests the Pope has. If the Pope said that Pike’s Peak is the tallest point in the US, would that be right because he is perfectly infallible?
Again, knowledge is power. If you are deemed knowledgeable, there is a certain responsibility you have to be logical, just, and accurate. Yet, we as people don’t challenge the status quo. It is easier to accept the knowledge of others than to seek out knowledge oneself.
Challenge: research. Be inquisitive. If you don’t like socialism, research socialism. If you don’t like what the President has done, how about research other opinions, read the bills, and read what he is trying to do rather than hearing what others are saying he is doing. If you don’t know about the true reason why these immigrants are coming into the US, then find out why. Take the power of knowledge into your hands and become the controller of your opinions.