You Know What Yanks My Cord …
… the asininity of “popular” culture. It should be alarming that more people are privy to the details of Kim Kardashian’s divorce, for example, than to the morally indefensible state of world hunger. The world’s population recently reached seven billion; we currently have the resources to feed approximately 12 billion people on this planet and yet nearly one billion go to sleep hungry every night. It may be impossible to avoid your daily bombardment of celebrity tabloids and other related media, but it should not take up so much of your time as to muddle your priorities.
As university students, we occupy a uniquely privileged position in terms of the resources for personal growth that are at our disposal. Our “formative years” certainly did not begin and end with high school; now is truly the time when we will come to flesh out our beliefs, values and relationships. Don’t know where you stand politically? Not sure about your position on civil rights? Don’t know how to — gasp — talk about your feelings? That’s totally fine, because this is the perfect place to develop those ideas and skills and to find out who you are.
I don’t mean to come across as some curmudgeonly party-pooper. There should always be time made to forget our troubles and just have fun. However, you might want to re-examine your priorities if you find yourself spending more time contemplating Big Brother (the show) than the insight that can be drawn from George Orwell’s 1984. We pay good money for the resources here that will eventually earn us a degree, but those resources can also be incredibly valuable to the enrichment of our understanding of ourselves and our place in the world.
Consciousness-raising – that is a more worthy expenditure of our free time. Instead of several hours with Call of Duty, I’ll try to spend more time each day with pressing issues, such as building strong relationships with my peers, remaining speculative of my political beliefs and moral values and broadening my emotional horizons through poetry and art. Were I to sit upon some high horse it wouldn’t have a leg to stand on, since I freely admit to being distracted by immaterial novelties. But if you agree to the sentiments above, then I’m glad I’m not the only one. We can aspire to greater things together.
– James Formosa