Injustice bothers me more than anything. It is the one thing keeping me up almost every night, constantly on my mind.
The world is undeniably broken. Our country is slowly becoming a city on the edge rather than the “city on the hill” which has beaconed American values from the beginning. This image, adorned by generations of Americans, is tarnished by carelessness and anti-intellectualism. The one word which sums up my biggest challenge in pursuing my career as a journalist is ignorance.
Due to biased news sources, the instantaneous nature of social media and a culture which easily accepts fiction as reality, Americans are simply not well-informed when forming their opinions. In regard to controversial topics such as racism, sexism and gun violence, where facts are significant, ignorance has caused both the left and the right to forget we are all the United States of America rather than the Divided States of America.
It is essential for Americans to fight ignorance, and recognize our fight for freedom, justice and equality is not over. Not even close.
It takes the strength of a resilient and knowledgeable people to make a significant difference in the world. I need to be one of these people. I need to write the facts so people will form their opinions with knowledge. I need to inform through my reporting, to continue the cycle of truth which is vital for society to stay strong. I need to shed light on injustice and ignorance throughout all socioeconomic classes. I need to stay well-informed so I can combat ignorance through my words.
Fighting against ignorance has fueled my passion for journalism and has made me realize the only way to transform our anti-factual culture is by first informing ourselves. I have come to this realization: if someone does not do anything to stay well-informed, they forfeit their ability to make a difference and run the risk of blindly following an inaccurate source.
However, if one stays well-informed and reasons with factual evidence, they have the power to change lives. All of our actions have the potential to make a profound impact on the world, good or bad.
One way to solve the ignorance epidemic is to lead by example—to be the person disseminating facts rather than fiction.
Ignorance is dangerous. It allows us to become a mindless mass of people comfortable with allowing partisan politics and large corporations to guide us. This has been seen too many times throughout history for us to fall into the same trap. The only thing with the power to make this nation greater is to remember our choices affect the quality of all American lives, not just our own.
What so many Americans fail to recognize is behind every election there are people seeking justice, behind every ballot there is a citizen crying for freedom, behind every state, county and city there is someone longing for America to stay true to its core. What so many fail to recognize is we are all the same. When “we the people” are ignorant, we take advantage of the system which allows us to be free.
I watch the news every day. Most days I am heartbroken. Every day I consider the statistics portrayed throughout the news not as random numbers, but as people. I pray for these people every day. Every day I work hard because I know my education will have the power to change lives. These ideas motivate me towards making this world a better place to live. If I can do anything to make a difference—even a small one—in the life of a single individual, I will. All of us should.