Ever heard of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie? Probably not. Do you hear about Edward Snowden much? Old news, B-O-R-I-N-G. How about the 30,000 people living without a home as you are reading this? Tragic.

“Two things only the people anxiously desire — bread and circuses.” This is how the Roman Empire appeased the masses, with free food and grand spectacles, and as they say, ‘history repeats itself’. In the society we live in today, a concert by Beyoncé is more important than any serious issues happening to real people around the world. Kylie Jenner giving birth is more important than the 830 women that die during childbirth or pregnancy every day. Conveniently stopping by the nearest fast food restaurant is more important than the fact the nice juicy piece of chicken we are biting into probably lived in a space smaller than an iPad. Distract them with food and games, distract them from the world.

Do not take me wrong, though, I am in no way saying that we are all horrible for caring about a celebrity’s life or for eating conveniently at a fast food restaurant, but I am saying that I am sick and tired of all these important issues being shrugged off. I am guilty of talking about entertainment, just as any person is; however, what I am tired of is the lack of awareness and the lack of caring. I am tired of the lack of discussion about issues such as Indigenous living conditions or the ongoing refugee crisis happening worldwide. I am exhausted of pretending to care about Taylor Swift throwing shade at another celebrity when currently the Burmese government is throwing Rohingya babies in fire.1 And frankly, my heart has had enough of trying to get people to care, of trying to get people to engage in discussions of issues that transgress human rights, of issues that determine the future of the planet because if nothing else, these issues deserve recognition.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying food, shows, movies, or sports — in fact, to be a human is to be entertained. However, that does not excuse our ignorance. Maybe we can read up on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who is a great author and an amazing speaker advocating for equality for everyone, regardless of race or gender. We should try to keep Edward Snowden’s name alive because the rights he fought for are still actively trying to be taken away from us. And we should research why people end up homeless because understanding how they ended up without homes in the first place creates opportunities to help. Do not forget to have fun, but do not forget the importance of always staying aware.

  1. Gettleman, J. (2017, October 11). Rohingya Recount Atrocities: ‘They Threw My Baby Into a Fire’. Retrieved April 07, 2018, from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/11/world/asia/rohingya-myanmar-atrocities.html

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