Ignorance is Killing Us

Watching the 11th Hour and reading the article about Easter Island truly inspired me and reminded me what I want to do with my career and my life. We have a duty as a population and a species on earth to protect what gives us life and respect those things that keep a balance. The 11th Hour outlined issues with our biosphere, resources, and deforestation and provided direct evidence that these things are hurting and we are the issue. Of course, these documentaries always exaggerate a little bit and they add music and a serious tone of voice to make it seem terrible, but the overall concept is not an exaggeration. It is very difficult to be inspired by such a film and return to being around people who don’t care. A lot of the people in my life chose not to be mindful of where everything comes from that they use or consume. I am constantly shocked by the questions my peers ask me about eating healthy. I have been vegetarian or vegan for the past four years and people view me as a healthy influence. When someone I know is curious about eating better or are just curious they usually come to me which is saying something to begin with. I am not the healthiest eater but I do know a lot about health foods and where my food comes from especially compared to the majority of the population. If people can’t even take the time to research their food how can we get them motivated to help the environment.

The Easter island article showed exactly what we are as a human race and how the soul reason we are going to destroy ourselves is ignorance, blind obedience, and social separation. I realized that the separation between countries and even states or governments is much like the separation of clans in the article. Competition became even stronger and more violent as the Easter Island civilization was dying. In order to save themselves they would have had to unite together and become innovative with there techniques and conservation of land. They were so focused on forming non-functioning objects that create status that they didn’t realize their own survival was in danger. This is very similar to how our society especially in the United States puts such power of approval in owning fancy cars, big houses, or having large quantities of things and not paying attention to the environmental impact that is having. We have formed a shield around our thinking that only thinks about how things benefit our own lives. We have this amazing ability to forget about things if we can’t see them or not feel threatened if it is not first hand.

I was explaining my thought process to my mother Thursday night when I went home and she was very defensive about it. She was saying that we don’t need to worry about all of that and a lot of those concepts are just to grab people’s attention. Then she said “I remember when I was young and knowledgeable and ready to change the world”. This comment left a bad taste on my mouth because it made me realize that the older generations have given up. It is a lot of effort to go against the societal norm and making controversial concepts to solve issues or help improve them can offend people and create negative feedback. This is probably why the Easter Island citizens never fought back or challenged the ways of their tribe because the high powers or leaders would make them seem crazy or wrong. Not to mention people are scared of what they don’t understand. Facts about how agriculture is making our biosphere sick and deforestation is doing more then just taking squirrels homes is not commonly understood by the public. It is hard to convince a population these things are real when they don’t have a solid ground of information to go off of to begin with. The beauty of this issue is that we have more ways of spreading information then we ever have before. The Easter Islanders didn’t even know how their ancestors built the statues by the end and they lacked the passing down of teachings and findings. On the other hand, we have an overwhelming amount of ways to pass down what we learn. It’s just getting people to stop their ignorance and care.

About becsburroughs

Apparel Merchandising major with a minor in Sustainable Design
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