White picket fence barriers
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Ignorance is bliss, right?
The Washington Post published an article written by Thomas Gibbons-Neff about Wilmington, Ohio.
Long story short, this utopia of a town doesn’t concern themselves with politics. The article spotlighted the lack of concern residents expressed about the world outside their town.
What may appear as an ingenious outlook on life, strikes more powerfully as selfishness. This attitude reeks of the ideology that if it does not personally affect me, it is not a problem.
What is poverty and racism to a small corn-growing town? What is genocide and political upheaval in Aleppo to a town where everyone waves to one another? Privilege is not simply monetary. Privilege is knowing when you walk out your front door, you will not face any harm.
This infectious attitude of ‘my town is the only town that matters’ is not only selfish, but disrespectful to those who do not have the privilege to live such a simple life.
It’s as childish as a toddler covering their ears with their hands and squeezing their eyes shut, singing over the noise of a hurting world because it depresses them.
People being killed, raped and socially neglected should depress you. Simply pretending everyone in the world is as friendly as your small town is unacceptable.
It is unacceptable and insulting.
By refusing to acknowledge a world full of wounds, their indifference creates barriers and division. It categorizes the world into two groups: us and them. This type of thinking is scary and problematic, and the world has watched the effects of this mindset again and again in history.
This is not just a problem of the people of Wilmington, Ohio. The idea that ignorance is bliss stretches its fingers across every state, strangling life out of compassion, empathy and resolve to help others.
As a campus, we cannot pretend Indiana is the whole world. We cannot pretend USI is the only campus. We cannot pretend something is only a problem if it affects us personally.
We need to be called to a higher standard than the self-centeredness of a child.
We have the means to be educated about the world and the struggles others deal with every day.
We must utilize those means—read the newspaper, watch the news, install a news app on your phone.
Be informed about what is going on in the world around you. Become angry about what you hear, become sad, become empowered to change the way things are.
We are the only hope for change, and we cannot drown out the screams for help any longer.