No doubt this is true for many- by reading this blog, by watching the news and discussing what you see with friends of family, by engaging in actions as diverse as buying a fair trade kiwi fruit or voting, we are all taking part in civic society. Interdependence and up-to-date news has created a small but committed band of news junkies, committed to savoring one of the greeted sources of power through human history- knowledge. I count myself as one of these individuals.
Let me elaborate. This blog, is for all intents and purposes, anonymous as I can make it (some reading this will know who I am). The reason for this entire blog is as much to clarify my own views as to encourage debate and put across my equally invalid view of the world, its past, and its future. Instantaneus reaction to world events are common in my experience, and if I reflect a little but still let those initial feelings dominate, perhaps I might be able to realise exactly what viewpoint am I coming from. Thought why that is advantageous to know is a question I'm unable to give a clear answer to.
Studying what I do and have seemingly experienced these past years, I've seen (through the media) many events which have shaped the lives of many individuals I have ever met. In a way, it is possible now to sit at a computer or in front of a TV and seeing the real effects of the policy which, as citizens, we allow to continue. Those effects can of course, be positive or negative. It seems that power is quite literally at the fingertips, be they pressing a remote control or tapping on a keyboard.
News alerts crop up on the laptop top screen, beep across my phone, on the TV screen and then more detailed viewpoints are given in the newspapers the day after. Bombardment, voluntarily.
Anyone noticed how many adverts now start with the lines "In today's fast paced world..."
The editors of the news channels make decisions as to what matters. Does that mean that we have to as well?
The things that matter- these are in no order, and just from the top of my head- a bit James Joyce-esque....
Reversing global warming and convincing others of its seriousness
Whether or not postmodernism is a legitimate tool, and if so, whether there is consequentially any point in the search for 'truth'
God, in whatever form
Preversing political neutrality in the places where it belongs
Challenging your own beliefs, and the beliefs of others
Opposing dictatorship and encouraging democracy
Advancing our understanding of the world
The above vague, overarching and egotistic statements cannot be put in some kind of fanciful order. Different things matter to different people. Is it legitimate to tell an individual that they should not care about a film premiere but about the ice on Greenland melting? Once again, this is not a question I can answer.
What seems to be matter, however, is being there for people. When your friends, when your family, when a stranger has need of company in whatever form then it is important to be there for them. Politics, global warming and the future of the world matters, to such a great extent and I cannot emphasis this more strongly- encourage others to care about them. But personally, and I say this to my family, my friends, my fellow students, fellow bloggers, web browsers, people of all religions, tribes and nations- remember to be there for those who ask for your help. It is, indeed, a humbling experience. Glaciers are melting, the world is on the edge of a catastrophe almost everyday- but do not forget those around you.
It is my birthday tomorrow you see- one can get a little reflective ;-).