Ignorance isn’t bliss, what you don’t know can hurt you in the terror game

Map of recent airstrikes against ISIS in Syria.
Map of recent airstrikes against ISIS in Syria.

What you don’t know can hurt you.
We are a part of a generation that fails to acknowledge the writing on the wall. When given literary options that vary from People to The New York Times, nine times out of 10 we pick the pop culture option.
We turn a blind eye to the news in order to avoid being worried or having our mood brought down. Instead we find ourselves so wrapped up in whose nudes were leaked to TMZ or what the college football scores were over the weekend. But tell me, when was the last time you had a conversation with one of your peers outside of class on the Islamic State or on the current account deficit of the United States?
I know some of you read that last sentence and completely tuned out due to your lack of interest. I’m here to tell you that you need to get interested, though. This is not boring. These are current issues that are happening right now and they do affect you.
To test my theory, I sat in the library yesterday and struck up some conversations with students. I asked my peers a simple question: “What is a current issue in the world that you feel strongly about”?
Answers ranged from Ray Rice and the beating of his then-fiancee-now-wife, to people mourning Virginia Tech’s second loss of the football season last weekend.
When I was asked to share a current issue I feel strongly about, my answer was much different than theirs.
I brought up the current comments from Islamic spokesman Abu Muhammad urging the Islamic State to attack the United States and threatening to “end us,” which resulted in U.S. and French Warcraft striking Islamic targets in Iraq.
I almost always received a response of shock and interest from my peers, but very few were able to comment on the issue because they haven’t kept themselves informed.
Why is it that we contain ourselves to a parameter of knowledge that only extends to celebrity pop culture and campus gossip? I check my phone for ESPN updates just as much as the next person, but there comes a point when we as a whole need to realize that there is so much more outside of our secure bubble of knowledge that is worth knowing.
I have made a point lately of trading my “People” magazine in every once in a while for an issue of “The New York Times.” There is more to life than football scores and celebrity gossip. Maybe an article on the Islamic State won’t brighten your day as much as seeing Jessica Alba’s recently leaked nudes, but it will widen your knowledge and keep you informed on real life issues that can affect you.
I’m not saying to rid your life of ESPN updates and celebrity news. I’m saying to broaden your knowledge so you can be a well-rounded adult capable of holding a conversation with someone over the age of 16.
Ignorance is not bliss. It’s just naivity.