News Junkies

I’m perusing Twitter tonight, following people for a company I’m assisting with social media. Specifically, I’m looking for those interested in global issues and journalistic integrity. At least 1 out of every 8 of these Twitter bios say ‘news junkie’ or a variant thereof.

What’s the point of putting this in your bio? Shouldn’t we all be ‘news junkies?’

But of course we aren’t.

Too many of us don’t read the news – not even online where access to knowledge is bountiful. Or we only read the kind of news we want to see. We want only news that makes us feel good – or news of some heightened reality like Hollywood and those people we deem worthy of our attention.

Ignorance is bliss but it’s the kind of bliss that doesn’t get you anywhere. Ignorance isn’t real happiness and ignorance doesn’t change the facts of the world in which we live. No matter how much we insulate ourselves from the trials of life, life still happens. It still goes on.

I had a friend once who, when faced with tough times, would say ‘I choose not to believe that’ and would proceed as if people’s lives weren’t collapsing around her. She insulated herself in a shallow hull of fun and games – but the world still turned and bad things still happened.

When we face the reality of the world, when we deal with life on all of it’s levels, we have power. Knowledge is power and knowledge leads to action. Knowledge can drive us to make a difference in the world, even if only on a local level.

We shouldn’t fear awareness. On the contrary, we should be ravenous for it. We should crave enlightenment from the moment we awaken until we drift to sleep – and then we should dream about all of the things we’ve yet to learn.

Being a ‘news junkie’ means you must be brave. You must be willing to bear witness to the glory and the horrors of this world and you must let all of that affect you, inform you and change you so that you can become a lighthouse for change yourself.

I know that’s not something a lot of people believe in – that they have the power to change the world – but we do.

You do.

If the internet gives us access to knowledge then it also gives others access to us. It’s a platform for change. It is a platform for good. So even if you feel like you don’t know how to affect change in your immediate surroundings, you have the ability to leverage the entire world by striking a few keys.

There’s that saying that God wants us to be like children, full of wonder. The one question a child asks more than any other is ‘Why?’ That question should always be on our tongues, driving us to uncover injustice and then the next question should be ‘How?’ driving us to discover the solutions.

We shouldn’t shudder under the weight of knowledge that is out there. We should grab it and we should cherish it. We should be grateful that we have access to it and we should all consider ourselves addicts for the insight it brings.

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