The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Here, There and Everywhere


A few weeks ago, I was riveted to my laptop and television screen, watching in awe as the Chilean miners were one by one extracted from their prison almost a mile below the Earth’s surface. It was a story I had followed closely for the entirety of their time underground, checking at least once a day for updates on CNN and other news organizations.

However, I found that most people I brought it up to (which was several on a daily basis) frequently had to be reminded of a story that had dominated headlines for days just weeks before.

Too often, I bear witness to the incredible short attention span of the human population. Most often, but certainly not limited to, in my fellow students at this University. For example, when the TORCH was busy covering the story of Cecilia Chang, we found that many students had no idea who she was or what she did, despite ample coverage by both this and other media outlets.

It has been my experience that the prevalent issues of the day regularly remain just that: the issues of that day or week or month where it is en vogue to care, or, at the very least, seem to care. Unfortunately, it is typically these issues that we should always care about.

I’m not saying that every person has to care about every cause and throw themselves behind something just for the sake of being there. What I am saying is that we need to be more educated on what is happening in our world, to know at least the bare minimum. By spending just a few minutes each morning or evening watching the news can enhance an individual’s life tremendously. Picking up a newspaper (which you already have, thank you!) can help pass time during an otherwise monotonous commute. You don’t even have to do that much work, there are hundreds of thousands of news websites just waiting for you.

Being aware of what is happening in the world around you will also help you in the workplace. Companies are looking for bright young people who know more than the latest celebrity cheating scandal, although that may also come in handy.

Many college students argue that they don’t have the time to keep up with the news. Between classes, work, extra-curricular activities, social lives and relationships, the most they can do in their down time is browse their Facebooks and Twitters, making sure that they keep up on what is really important to them.

Again, I’m not arguing that people have to constantly monitor what is happening in the world or even care. I’m arguing that they should want to. Paying attention to what goes on in the world can open a person’s mind and present them with previously unforeseen opportunities. Being able to communicate with others about important – and even trivial – issues can help make it easier to interact.

Whether it be a newspaper, online news source or even CNN playing in the background, take the time to pay attention. Take the time to care. Take the time to expand your horizons and be open to possibilities. You’ll be glad you did.

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