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FRANKE: Why global consciousness matters

011_FRANKE_JOHNThere is a lot going on in the world right now. The war on terror wages in the Middle East, the Ebola epidemic expands at an alarming rate, and the citizens of Hong Kong peacefully protest a Chinese dictatorship.

Globally, we are at the crux of a tense period in history. But amid the complex, and often controversial events of our world, Rockhurst and its students stand with integrity.

Take a minute to think about the sphere of Rockhurst in the context of a global world. All of a sudden, we become tiny. We become miniscule cogs that function in an enormous machine. And right now, that machine is not running smoothly.

Yet, here at Rockhurst things are relatively calm. There are plenty of changes in the works between the new iPad program and the Presidential Master Plan, but daily life has continued at a steady pace. The means have changed, but the ends remain the same. We still learn and pray together with pride.

This isolated sphere of comfortable functionality is both a blessing and a potential hazard.

It’s no secret that we are unbelievably fortunate to attend a school like Rockhurst. Our teachers have dedicated their lives to the quality of our education. We have clean facilities and a warm lunch each afternoon. Daily we are prepared for the futures ahead of us.

But the opportunities given to us are not excuses for cultural and societal disinterest on a larger scale. We have a responsibility to expand ourselves beyond the sphere of Rockhurst.

Many topics contribute to the focal points of our discussions as a community: fantasy football, cell phone privacy, formal dances, etc. These topics are important to a degree, but they are not enough to deepen our perception of the world.

I am not naive. I know that there is little we can do to quell Ebola or to defeat ISIS. However, to be conscious, informed members of a larger society is to expand the sphere of influence of our community.

We are high-schoolers, and we are teenagers. As such, we have a unique opportunity to develop a worldview using a variety of perspectives and lenses. These perspectives must expand past the sphere of our community.

Pick up a newspaper. Cut out ten minutes each day to catch up on the state of the world. Be an active part of the society that is happening all around us.

The prospect of involving ourselves in a world torn by international conflicts that can be incredibly difficult to understand is daunting, but it is also imperative in our formation of worldviews that could stick with us for a lifetime.

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