Written by Andrew Baugh. Media by Mikey Courtney.
Greenville College is a wonderful place. Most people would be hard-pressed to find another environment that is as supportive, comforting, and enriching as this campus. It only makes sense that most students would focus their attention on what happens locally. If you had a team of cats with jetpacks doing a choreographed flight performance to Smash Mouth’s greatest hits, why would you want to think about anything else? Comparing GC to the aforementioned cats performance might seem a bit absurd, but the point stands—no matter how great GC is, we should not limit our view to its borders.
Coming off the heels of Global Impact Week, the question arises, “Why should I care about world news?” I promise this is not just a ploy to increase viewership of the World News section of the Papyrus (though it would be awesome if you’d read our work each week). The truth is that there is a great big world out there with billions of people doing different things. Billions. Compared to that, the number of people on campus seems infinitesimally small. Wouldn’t it be logical to wonder what everyone else in the world is up to? If that comparison isn’t enough to change your mind, there are a few other reasons why world news is worth your time.
First of all, world news helps you to stay informed. Global events affect all of us, whether or not we recognize it. Our society has a strange way of romanticizing ignorance. Sure, the cliché expression “ignorance is bliss” may be true in some cases, but we shouldn’t limit ourselves. We shouldn’t accept a standard of life simply because it’s comfortable. Challenging ourselves, seeking new thoughts and ideas, accepting the burden of knowledge—these are what we should strive to do. Being informed of the happenings of the world isn’t always a pleasant experience. In fact, it’s often times not. We live in a broken world; that is the reality of our situation. The only way we can hope to make any real difference is by becoming aware of the world around us. Keeping up to date on world news is one such way.
Next, world news helps you to discover and experience things you might otherwise miss. You might even find a cause that you’re passionate about. Maybe you decide that your calling is to assist in relief efforts after a natural disaster strikes a nation. Maybe you decide to help people with mental illnesses after the recent string of mass shootings. Even a small thing like listening to a great new band from a different country can go a long way to shaping your life. If you never look outside the walls of GC, you could miss something meaningful.
Finally, as a Christian college we are called to behave in accordance to the principles laid down by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Matthew 28:19-20 says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…” All nations. We were not commanded to stay together and only concern ourselves with local matters. We are called to spread the message throughout the whole world. Following world news is how we are able to determine which places need the good word most of all.
I want to reiterate that I am not downplaying the importance of GC. It is a great setting filled with wonderful people and ideas that will positively influence your entire life. However, we should be aware of the dangers of our “Greenville bubble.” Learning is a wonderful thing, but what is the point if that knowledge is not actively applied? Knowledge without action is futile. I encourage you to seek out information about the world. Read news from a variety of sources. Really think about what’s happening outside the college borders. Greenville College is an important step on the path to becoming a worthwhile, helpful, compassionate person. However, it is just one step. Don’t stop here when there is a whole future waiting for you.