Wake up and smell the political action. At The Rubicon, lately, we have been urging students to take an active role in their community. Through advocating for policy change, taking a bigger part in local elections, or encouraging more dialogue in classrooms. Are these the usual actions of a student newspaper? People often need a little motivation to get off their butts and make change.
There has always been apathy from teenagers toward politics and current events. The apathy doesn’t come from a lack of interest, but from overexposure. The exponential increase of information forces people to put up a thicker filter between themselves and world events. No one can mourn every death wrought by terrorism or disease. This results in a rise of apathy. Sometimes it’s good to remind people that they can change the world. As cheesy as that sounds, less people who care and take action is a scary prospect.
There is the classic quote from John F. Kennedy during his inaugural address that still rings true today, “ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” He said this because he believed the power to create change was in the hands of the people not the government. In order for the change to happen, we can’t be passive. There will always be a part of me that just wants to sit at home eating pizza and watching T.V. I need to fight that feeling everyday to convince myself to get out of the house and go to school. It takes a bit more to get people advocate political change.
We talk about taking more action because it is important. The world is far from perfect, and students are the people who will solve the problems of the future. It’s important that we start our activism now, never allowing ourselves to fall into apathy. The poet Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “God will not have his work made manifest by cowards.” It means that the greatest achievements of humanity will not come from those who succumb to their their carelessness. Active participation in politics, in activism, in a community, and in volunteering is not always easy. It takes courage to take action.
This story is reprinted from The Rubicon print edition: Oct 24, 2017