by Kenneth Justice
~Part of growing up is learning to be responsible, right? Isn’t that what we tell children;
“You need to take on more responsibility so your father and I want you to get a part time job…after all you are 36 years old now” 😉
Being responsible comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Whether we are talking about being responsible in our vocation, with our children, toward our significant other or fill-in-the-blank. Its interesting though that responsibility often is connected to our relationships with others;
—) Being responsible in our vocation affects our co-workers
—) Being responsible in a relationship affects our significant other
—) Being responsible as a parent affects our children
When we fail in our responsibilities in those types of areas we can end up causing tremendous havoc in the lives of those around us….but how far are we supposed to take our responsibilities in connection with the larger world?
This past week I wrote about the ongoing problem of child slavery in the Ivory Coast. It has been an issue that I’ve been following for nearly 20 years. Readers mentioned other major problems around the world such as the Somalian Refugees, poverty in third world countries and similar instances of massive injustice….
Whenever I think about these major problems I often wonder; what is my responsibility to these fellow humans?
I mean lets be serious, I by myself can’t solve the problems of child slavery, malnutrition, AIDS, and other such social ills that plague various parts of the world. Hell, if through the efforts of my entire life I was able to solve even one of these social problems it would be pretty amazing.
So what then is our responsibility to the people around the globe who are spending every day of their life bound in the chains of their torment?
—) Should we merely shrug off the issue of child slavery in the Ivory Coast and say, “Its too far away and there’s nothing we can do about it”?
—) Should we toss aside the AIDS epidemic in Africa and say, “Its too big a problem and there’s nothing we can do about it”?
—) Should we ignore the massive level of malnutrition in countries such as India where there appears to be no immediate hope of solving the problem?
What is our responsibility to our humans around the globe? I’ve asked this question to myself more than a million times throughout my life. I am a self-admitted NEWS junkie and since I’m not very interested in celebrity NEWS, I often find myself reading BBC Africa, The Guardian Europe, The Times of India and other global NEWS sites……
If we don’t have any responsibility to people around the globe…than perhaps I should stop reading global NEWS. Perhaps I am merely wasting too much of my emotional energy learning about the issues that are affecting people on the other side of the world. Perhaps my interest is futile because there is nothing I can do to change anything…..
I’ve often said that dialogue is important. Whether we realize it or not the conversations we have via blogging, the Internet, at coffee shops and other social venues….all contribute to the global conversation that occurs around the world. The more people who talk about an issue; the more the issue becomes a topic that government leaders have to take notice of and then…hopefully take action.
For many years the average person had little to no say with regard to the topics that should be discussed in the larger public discourse. If you didn’t work at a newspaper or television station then your only chance of being heard on a larger scale was to write a letter to the editor or letter to your local politician…and it was hit-or-miss if your letter would even be read.
The Internet has changed the playing field. Blogging, social media sites, and other forms of Internet media have allowed the average person the ability to contribute to the larger public discourse.
Of course, as with other avenues of our life, in the blogging world comes responsibility; bloggers should take serious their responsibility in writing and fact-check what they write. Bloggers should stay away from libel, slander, and any other forms of maliciousness.
The Internet has changed the playing field. It has finally given you and I a voice in the larger public discourse. Of course, this doesn’t mean that we are going to be able to change the world over night. It doesn’t mean that a simple article we write about AIDS in Africa will solve the epidemic by Friday. But it does mean that we can at least begin talking about the problem on a larger scale.
Last week President Obama took a swipe against bloggers, as though bloggers should be treated as second-class citizens compared to Newspaper Journalists or Television Journalists. Sadly, I must disagree with the President’s views of the blogging world because;
—) when I clicked on the NBC Nightly News last night I was greeted by a deluge of Kim Kardashian Images
—) when I clicked on Huffington Post this morning the top story was an article about how bad Brittney Spears voice sounds
—) when I clicked on my two local newspapers this morning the top stories on both sites all had to do with local sports
I’m sorry…..but if President Obama wants to bash the blogging the world then he needs to wake up and see what the (sic) “real” NEWS is reporting on these days…..
Perhaps as President of the United States we should tack on a new responsibility to the job; read a few blogs each morning Mr. President….maybe you’ll actually hear what the people are really talking about.
for now its time for another coffee,
Categories: Culture & Society