Updated: Jun 21, 2020
I know what you’re thinking:
“LET ME GET TO THE GOOD STUFF. I WANT CURRENT EVENTS.”
Okay, okay. Calm down.
We’ll get to the good stuff.
But first, I want to touch on a couple of important points I think are ESSENTIAL to understanding CURRENT EVENTS.
I’ve put together Five Points I believe that you must internalize if you are to really understand the world around you.
I don’t expect you to internalize these Five Points immediately. No one changes overnight! But I do think it’s important to at least be aware of these Five Points before diving into the real posts.
So, without further ado, I present to you the Five Points to Understanding the World Around You.
The Five Points to Understanding The World Around You
1 CURRENT EVENTS isn’t a subject. CURRENT EVENTS is the world we live in.
Current events is all around us, and it doesn’t always make the news. Current events is global, it’s local, it’s at the dinner table. It doesn’t end when you turn the television off. If you have ever been involved in a fender-bender, you’ve been a part of current events (surprise, you’re now a stat!). If you’ve ever eaten meat, you’ve been a part of current events (you’re a stat again…). If you’ve ever used a smart phone, you’ve been a part of current events (you’re statting pretty hard at this point).
Yes, there are levels of importance to current events. Wars and famines are clearly more important than a fender bender. But here’s my point: every current event starts with an individual action. And with every individual action there comes an individual effect. And then these individual actions and these individual effects add up to become something IMPORTANT.
2 CURRENT EVENTS doesn’t operate in a vacuum.
Everything we do and everything we touch is the product of what came before. The war in Syria didn’t just happen. Innumerable decisions and events preceded the war. And the effects of the war dictate our decision-making all over the world, from Brexit and the American Presidential Elections to our views on immigration and culture.
3 It’s important to be EMPATHETIC.
What seems normal to you isn’t always normal to others. And while the rise of extremist terrorism seems despicable to the vast majority of people, there are people who think terrorism is a beneficial.
In order to craft a solution to terrorism, we MUST understand why some people think it’s beneficial. Without understanding WHY some people think terrorism is a good thing, how can we hope to understand how terrorism emerges? And if we can’t understand how terrorism emerges, how can we ever hope to stop terrorism from happening in the future?
The answer is to be empathetic.
I’m NOT asking you to be sympathetic. Sympathy is the act of internalizing someone else’s emotions and making it your own. I repeat, I’m NOT asking you to be sympathetic.
I AM asking you to be empathetic. Empathy is the ability to understand something from someone else’s viewpoint. To understand the psychological, cultural, and social processes at play in someone else’s life.
You can be empathetic without by sympathetic. It’s important to be empathetic.
4 Humans are SOCIAL creatures.
We talk with one another, we pass information from one person to another, we can influence other people, and most importantly, we can be influenced by other people. We can be influenced even when it goes against our morals and our belief systems. We can be influenced to do things we wouldn’t normally do. We can be influenced to think things, to vote certain ways, to befriend certain people, and to shun others.
Individual influence is a very interesting and powerful phenomenon. It can also be scary.
Because while individual influence is interesting and powerful, what it leads to is even more interesting and powerful. When enough individuals are influenced to think a certain way, these individuals begin to think as a larger group. And these larger groups have power.
And this power leads to large political and social outcomes.
Every political and social movement ever undertaken is the product of influence.
5 Humans are LOUD creatures.
This point is perhaps the point that requires the most conscious reminder. When reading about CURRENT EVENTS, always keep in mind that the loudest voices are the voices that are heard the most. But it doesn’t mean the voices are correct, it just means the voices are loud.
(Think about some of the loudest politicians you know. It shouldn’t be hard to think of one particularly LOUD one…)
The only solution to this issue is to become more familiar with current events.
By becoming more familiar with current events, you can begin to decide what is right and what is wrong. You can begin to think for yourself. Those loud voices you hear on the news prey on people like you and me who don’t completely understand a specific issue. By being more familiar with current events, we can withstand the influence of these loud voices.
Recap for the Gram
Let’s Recap the Five Points:
CURRENT EVENTS is everywhere. Don’t think of CURRENT EVENTS as a separate subject, like math or science. CURRENT EVENTS is math AND science, as well as everything else around you!
ALL CURRENT EVENTS ARE CONNECTED. Don’t think of CURRENT EVENTS as separate events. They aren’t. Brexit influences the American Presidential Elections and the American Presidential Elections influences Brexit.
Understanding CURRENT EVENTS requires an open mind. Be EMPATHETIC!
CURRENT EVENTS is the result of influence. Humans are social creatures and we can be swayed to think one way or another.
CURRENT EVENTS has a lot of LOUD VOICES. Learn to look past this.
I hope that HOW WE GOT TO NOW will help you to understand our world just a little better.
Our world is a giant machine, and every piece of the machine is required. When the fan breaks in your computer, it affects the ability of the processor to operate at full speed. When your tires on your car are worn out, it puts unnecessary pressure on your brake-pads. And when you create a war in Syria, it creates an influx of refugees in other parts of the world.