Open your eyes

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Mark Zuckerberg once told his colleagues, “a squirrel dying in your front yard may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa.”

The way we perceive the world these days is incredibly limited; we’re constantly surrounded by blinders that channel our interests down one straight and incredibly narrow path. The blame of this issue falls on many: ourselves, for not being mindful enough to expand our knowledge, and especially on the news, for not informing us of the daily happenings of the world.

Sure, there’s plenty of news going on within our city, within our state, and of course, within our country. But leave the bounds of the United States, and you’ll find plenty more, arguably more urgent, happenings. In Syria, there are new incidents of injury and bombings every single day, but most aren’t reported globally unless the death count exceeds a dozen– how heinous. It makes sense that people are naturally more interested in the news of their own country, but at the end of the day, we’re all human, and we should exhibit great care and attention to the well-being of our brothers and sisters around the globe. Just because those who are suffering may live thousands of miles from us, there’s still a deep duty that falls upon us to stay informed and help them– regardless of race or nationality.

When one combines a quasi-lack of interest with restricted reporting from major news organizations, the phenomenon of limited perception is revealed, and it borders on ignorance. The result of this deprivation of knowledge is that we see only a sliver of the diverse world we live in; we see only a fraction of the multitudes of problems that live on our planet; we see only a fragment of the improvements to our world that take place every day.

Forbes blames this divide — between the Western media and the events that happen worldwide — on a concept they’ve named “divided media.” In theory, it describes how people only want to hear news that pertains to their lives or that affects them directly in some way. To truly solve this problem, the people need to exhibit more interest towards the rest of the world, and in turn, destroy the stigma that causes divided media. In response to the demand, the news will follow suit. The task to expand our knowledge of the world falls in the hands of news organizations to provide us with the information we need to know, but we can push it forward by showing genuine care.

It’s really in our best interest to open our eyes, see the world, and encourage companies to aid us in doing so. Strive to discover as much as you can–because it’s a big world out there, and odds are, you probably don’t know enough about it.

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