by Alex X., Mountain View
The temperature of the planet slowly rises, bit by bit. Racism becomes more widespread as small actions pile up, clearly displaying our society’s flaws. People forget the past, allowing history to repeat itself. This is because nobody likes to think about uncomfortable subjects. Doing so casts doubt on the opinions and ideas of people, which causes them to be very reluctant to discuss these subjects. In turn, this allows problems to advance further. Even when doing so may be difficult, every individual has an obligation to think seriously about important matters because society can learn from its mistakes, thinking about the matters can provoke important thoughts, and the matters will only improve if people acknowledge and pay attention to them.
One reason to seriously think about important matters is because they allow us to learn from our mistakes. For example, the Holocaust was an extremely horrible extermination event that led to the deaths of millions of people, widespread trauma, and a sense of despair that lasted for many years after it ended. Jewish people were rounded up into camps, experimented upon, shot, forced to perform demeaning labor, and euthanized in chambers of toxic gas by the thousands. Even worse, these atrocities were endorsed by an entire state. Because the Holocaust existed on such a massive scale and ruined the lives of a very large population, many people across the globe knew about it, and they were horrified because of the suffering that was happening. Worldwide attention was brought to this genocide. Once it finally ended, the world knew that this was a horrible mistake, never to be repeated. From then on, most countries completely stopped considering the idea of eradicating an entire group of people, and most people are aware of the horrors of the Holocaust. Because so many people know about it, humanity has not had to go to war over the genocides of minorities for a long time. Making sure that history does not repeat itself is one very important reason to think about pertinent events.
Additionally, thinking about important matters can inspire important thoughts. This leads to critical thinking and occasionally even results in a reevaluation of one’s values. For example, many people who say to keep politics out of discussions often do this to avoid thinking about serious problems. The current most prevalent display of deliberate ignorance is when people all over the internet criticize the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement by calling it too political and too widespread. This, in turn, leads to Black Lives Matter supporters expanding the message even further to make these people uncomfortable. Critics of the movement also tend to show a lack of understanding of the movement, instead talking about how “all lives matter” in a misinterpretation of the BLM’s purpose. This implies that these people do not want to pay attention to problems that obviously exist. By making them think about these issues, Black Lives Matter supporters force people to analyze their mindsets and think about the issue, possibly changing their worldviews in the process. This can be applied to many issues because people who are forced to think about something will have to come up with their own opinions about it. Important matters can, therefore, provoke a remarkable amount of thought.
Also, serious matters will only improve if people pay close attention and think about them. If nobody thought about them, they would never improve. This is because one needs to think about the problem to figure out the root of it as well as how to fix it. Climate change is a current example of people refusing to pay attention to an important problem. Many people are so uncomfortable with the notion that humans are destroying the planet that they have denied the existence of climate change. Scientific evidence has shown that climate change is rapidly becoming more and more destructive. People who have resolved to solve it by cutting down on their emissions and carbon dioxide output, especially politicians, rarely if ever follow through on their promises because they do not see the matter as urgent enough to take action or worth losing profits by fixing it. This allows greenhouse gases to keep accumulating, possibly dooming humankind. Nobody is paying enough attention to the issue, which leads to negative consequences for us all. The people who turn away from the problems altogether are even worse than those who do not pay enough attention to them, denying an easily observable issue simply because they dislike the idea of it. If more people just thought about the world’s problems more, the world we live in would not be in the state that it is right now.
People must think about important matters, no matter how difficult it is to do so. Thinking about them is the only way to prevent society from repeating its mistakes. Contemplating issues leads to more thinking and awareness of the problems. Doing otherwise only allows the problems to advance ever further, leading us into catastrophe. People may have trouble with thinking about important issues because doing so can cause crises and cause them to question their values and ideals. With enough cooperation, even the greatest issues can at least be improved. Some problems may evade solving and continue, but that is no excuse for not thinking about them. At least trying to accomplish something is better than doing nothing at all; and if enough people take action, they can create a world better than the one we live in right now. Doing otherwise could lead the world, which is already getting worse due to poverty, rampant capitalism, and severe environmental damage, into a fate worse than anything humanity has ever experienced. 2020 and 2021 have both been regarded as catastrophic years, and these are simply the culmination of trends and problems that nobody had considered until now. If people do nothing to stop them, these trends will continue. Thinking about important matters is the bare minimum, and everyone should do it.