By Emily Chance
A lot of times, knowing what is going on in the world can be seen as “useless information.” However, this “useless” information has helped me understand the world around me, and has informed me of many controversial goings-on in the world. The information that I have found and retained has shaped me into a more caring and aware human being. This “useless” information actually has many uses.
1. Awareness. I was never fully aware of the world until I took my World Regional Geography class freshman year of high school. I knew, but I never really grasped the idea that people lived without water in other countries. I wasn’t even aware of the fact that the United states uses more energy than anywhere else in the world. I was unaware about the severe effects of climate change, and I was unaware of the reasons each country had while fighting in a war against the other. Once someone becomes aware of an issue, they have two choices: ignore it, or seek to understand it.
2. Empathy. I have learned a lot about different cultures. While learning about different cultures, I began to dig up some uncomfortable topics, such as the fact that even some of the most developed countries still have segregation. For example, I have recently come across the fact that the Ainu people, who are indigenous to Japan, are nearing elimination. I found that they were forced to assimilate into the Japanese culture, and these indigenous people are very close to experiencing language death, where the older generations are the only ones who know it and cannot pass it down to other generations before they die. There are dozens of cases of this happening a year.
3. Intelligence. I have learned both sides of an issue in order to both understand and negate information. Many people I know take one side on an issue and argue only that side. However, the only way there can be an issue is if there are valid points on both sides. But learning current events and doing research and looking into both sides of the issue, one would be able to fully understand why the other person is going against their views. After acknowledging that the other person has valid points, they can then kindly explain why they disagree with their views without making themselves look dumb with red herrings and condemning the other person for what they believe in.
Paying attention to what is happening and striving to understand current events and other points of views can be beneficial to one’s character, professional relationships, and their views about themselves. I’m not going to lie, it’s very difficult to admit someone else is correct in their way of thinking at times, but anger and false information gets nowhere with them. Don’t try to change their mind. Strive first to understand them, then to be understood.
Edited by Klancy Hoover