I have always strived to keep up with world news. It is important to me that I remain aware and ready to discuss recent and vital happenings. The media helps me do this. Over the years, I have pared down the multitude of sources big and small to only the ones I trust the most. Some of these have even been deemed "fake news" by a certain world leader, but I have found their mission and motivations to be relatively pure - the best news organizations have a mission of truth, to educate the populace on events with no distortion of that truth. And when they're wrong, they admit it.
As I said, I used these news sources to keep up with events abroad. While I was taking a course earlier this year on the events of the Arab Spring of 2011, I was able to read the news each day and connect the events of today with those of 6 years prior.
Since the end of last year, however, I have increasingly noticed those top headlines being more relevant to me than not. My friends from abroad would ask, How is everything over there since the election? Mass shootings, incendiary Tweets, seeming threats to "unalienable" rights, a mass reckoning for sexual harassers everywhere.
More and more, I have seen the lens on the world turned back in towards my own country. We're in every news cycle, always for a new (and usually worse) reason. The lens has turned into a mirror, reflecting back on myself and my surroundings.
I am forced to consider my role in society like never before. Each challenge brings up memories of times I have been witness to microagressions that contribute to the larger whole. How many times have I let a questionable joke slide? Forgotten about instances of gender discrimination without reporting them? Hoped something would get better without putting the work in myself?
Reading about other places helped me idealize my own home - because it didn't seem that bad. But things have to change. And I'll be here to help change them.