The problem with apathy

Conor O'Bryon

How many times do you think about what is happening in the world? Do global problems dwell on your mind? Do you have an opinion on those problems, or do you ignore them, because they are too far away for you to worry or care? The truth is, the world today is very connected. What happens in one country might not be physically present in another, but it can still have worldwide repercussions. This is why people need to think about what is happening in the world, and not say “It’s someone else’s problem.” Apathy or a lack of knowledge on a topic can be harmful to an individual, a community or a country. You might not care much about a topic, but it can come back and hit you when you least expect it.

Take the ongoing Iran negotiations. Some Americans might think “Oh, it’s just some talks with another country on their nuclear weapon capabilities.” But if you go in-depth, the consequences might be more far-reaching than people think. If we still let Iran have a semi-passable path to a nuclear bomb, the Middle East could destabilize so much America could be pulled into another overseas war, or worse, the Middle East begins using Weapons of Mass Destruction. Suddenly it is a global problem that the U.S. and other countries have to deal with.

Unfortunately, there are problems like this that some of the population doesn’t know about or doesn’t care about. And while we can’t do something directly, we can indirectly influence what happens by voting for our leaders. One of the rather worrisome trends lately is the lower voter turnout rates of younger Americans. Some of them feel like the political situation is hopeless, and that nothing they do will help. Others just don’t feel bothered to vote, because they feel they are far removed from the problems that appear in newspapers every day. Voting for elected officials is important. It is one of the American values that we hold on to and spread around the world. It is necessary to vote for officials that represent America on the global stage. We need to vote for people who keep what’s best for America on their minds, not what’s best for their public image.

Another cause for concern is lack of knowledge of international affairs. However, this can be easily remedied. For example, read the newspaper daily. This can give a very broad window into what is happening globally, from conflicts in the Middle East to problems facing the EU. Watching the news or reviewing headlines on news apps can give you good information as well. There is an important thing to keep in mind for people becoming accustomed to reading the news. Look at a variety of sources, so your views stay unbiased by what you read, and you can form your own opinions from the information presented to you.

Apathy is a growing issue among the younger generations of Americans. While some problems might seem far, far away, they are really much closer than you think. We all live in the same world. So read the news, vote and understand what is happening beyond your borders.