Knowledge is Power

It is clear, not only in school, but also generationally, that there is an overall dearth of discussion and comprehension of current events and social issues. In an age in which every teenager has access to social media on their phones, the world around us has never been so readily available. Countless news sources and organizations broadcast their stories, especially via Twitter, but they are not being heard.

As of last year, Katy Perry surpassed Justin Bieber for the title of the most Twitter followers, totaling in at a whopping 66.5 million devoted fans, while major news source The New York Times, came in at only 15.7 million. This large disparity may be due to general disinterest, but if young, impressionable minds were to be exposed to current events, our overall public would become more well-read and educated, resulting in a stronger overall nation.

Many days have drifted by in school without the mention of Boko Haram, ISIS, potential presidential candidates, Selma March’s 50th anniversary, and countless others that shape the world we live in. Sure it’s important to foster large numbers of honors and AP kids who can read critically without any trouble, but isn’t it also important to raise students who can solve world problems and understand their environment? Perhaps current events shouldn’t take up full class periods, but don’t they at least deserve a mention?

Knowledge of current events can open an innumerable number of doors. It can catalyze important conversations with people you’d like to impress. It can increase understanding and worldview, and it can also guide you towards a more fulfilling future. Young people who are well versed in current events go on to hold public office, like Hillary Clinton, or start their own organizations, like Doctors Without Borders, or even induce extremely important educational and world change, like Malala Yousafzai.

Sometimes, world news can seem like it comes from another planet, but the understanding and empathy that comes from learning current events cannot be underestimated. Students become empowered and want to affect their own communities. They develop opinions of their own and learn to think for themselves. They gain a broader understanding of their world they live in. Don’t scroll past news stories on Twitter. Don’t ignore news articles in newspapers (especially this one). Don’t stop learning.