Do we live in a bubble of ignorance?

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Jessica Adair, Staff Writer/Columnist

Recently, it has been brought to my attention that a significant number of teenagers are completely uninformed about the world around them. It seems to me that not only are they uneducated, they also have no interest whatsoever to learn about other cultures or world events.

The new 21st century motto is “ignorance is bliss” because teenagers believe that what goes on in the world is irrelevant when compared to the terrible turmoil of their daily lives. This Monday, for example, is Cesar Chavez Day and many schools have the day the off. While many students are celebrating the fact that they won’t have to write an English essay or take a math test, they fail to realize why we were given this holiday in the first place.

2502278968_b5c5014180_oToday in one of my classes, a student blatantly said, “Who is Cesar Chavez anyways? Wait, never mind I don’t really care as long as we don’t have school.” Is this the kind of legacy Cesar Chavez wanted to leave behind when he fought for Latino American rights? Not all the change that he caused, but the fact that kids wouldn’t have to go school on his birthday?

I’m not saying that teenagers should know every single thing that’s going on in the world, but they should at least be open to learning stuff that is outside their little bubble of safety. It is disheartening to me that some teenagers don’t know about the crisis in Ukraine, but they do know everything that happened the night that Justin Bieber got arrested. A couple weeks ago, when asked about the current unrest in Ukraine, a boy in my class not only had no idea what was going on, but also didn’t know why we were talking about it in the first place.

I understand that calling all teenagers ignorant is a sweeping generalization, and I do know many teenagers who are extremely knowledgeable and aware about what goes on in the world. And to those intellectual individuals, I am sorry that these ignorant people are giving the teenager’s of America a bad reputation.

Even though world events might not always directly affect us, I believe it is our responsibility to educate ourselves about the world around us. Not only is world knowledge extremely useful, it broadens our perspective and allows us to be more tolerant of different cultures. Being more empathetic and knowledgeable in general  is never a bad thing, and if we open our minds and pop the bubble of ignorance, I believe our generation has a chance of doing something great and that’s just the way it is.

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