|Crowds surrounding the Reflecting Pool, during the 1963 March on Washington. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Everything came together in such a way that I was aware of what was going on in the world even though to a somewhat limited extent. Taking all things into consideration though, I was probably more aware of current affairs while I was in grade school and high school than a good many college students today. Even with the prevalence of informational resources through more television options and the internet, much of the general population of younger people seem to be relatively uninformed about issues, historical context, and general interpretative applications of the knowledge that is made available to them.
Even as an elementary school student I could name not only the leaders of my own country, but I could name many of the world leaders. I avidly watched the presidential campaigns of 1960 as well as all that followed into my adult life. Perhaps I didn't totally understand all of the issues, but I took an interest and attempted to keep up with what was happening.
My parents did not seem to be particularly interested in politics or world affairs so my interest did not come from them as far as I've been able to discern. It was a matter of my own curiosity about things I read, saw, and heard in the media that lead me to want to learn more about what was reported. The world was changing rapidly with space exploration, conflict around the world, political movements, and technology.
There were however many things of which my knowledge was very limited. One of these was the civil rights movement that was occurring during the years of my youth. I know much of this topic was reported because I remember having the awareness. In many ways my life was sheltered from these issues, but it was mostly because none of it was close to me in any way to where it would have affected me directly.
In some ways it does seem amazing that even fifty years after the civil rights marches and protests which resulted in legislation leading to change and greater social acceptance of the struggle of Black Americans, we still face similar issues and disagreements that one would think might have disappeared. Then we consider the four centuries when slavery was the norm for many Americans and attitudes toward other races was archaic to a great extent. Old habits and notions can be difficult to change. And that goes for both sides of the fence. Prejudice is not solely owned by any one race, religion, or culture. Fear, distrust, or whatever negatives we feel about others are rooted somewhere within all of us and can be hard for us to simply jettison.
I only know what I watch on TV, hear on the radio, or gather from whatever means is available to me and in the final analysis I don't know all that much. For one thing we don't always get the unadulterated truth. We're bombarded with a lot of opinions and points of view. My empty head seems to filter so much these days. Filtering is necessary to process data to any meaningful end. And in the end, I don't know that I really know that much anyway.
Do you consider yourself well-informed about the world? Have you ever been involved in any movement for change such as the Civil Rights Movement or a political campaign? What do you find to be the best sources of information that help shape your thinking?
I hope you'll visit my next Battle of the Bands post at Tossing It Out. The above post is related to that post and provides some clues to the song choice I'll be using. It's a great song with two outstanding performances for you to vote on your favorite.