Vigilance

By Angela He (High School Student)

We’re constantly bombarded by Trump’s latest catch phrases, bans, and executive orders. I’m worried that we’ll soon tune out to the turmoil around us, that the chaos will soon become background noise. That we’ll stop caring. It’s happened many times because it doesn’t affect us directly—while we may have heard that the war on drugs in Mexico that has killed thousands of civilians, how often does it come to mind? Probably infrequently. After all, it’s not on our side.

This is the apathy that plagues our world today, that divides us and causes copious destruction. How did Trump win? They wanted to make noise, and that particular candidate made the most noise, melodic or cacophonic. They wanted the loudest speakers they could find, so they could be heard. Perhaps we wouldn’t have needed something this cacophonic if only we had paid attention to problems further than our immediate vicinity.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned through art history is to examine everything. Often the larger, brighter subjects shadow the smaller ones that complete the picture. While Trump’s executive order on immigration has been the hot topic for the past few weeks, there have been other important issues hidden under the hundreds of Muslim ban headlines—Trump’s rescinds of restrictions on coal extraction and plans to privatize Native-American lands. Besides simply listening, we must be attentive.

We’re four long years away from a new presidency, but let’s not waste these four years because it seems too atrocious to deal with. Let’s not deafen our ears to the noise outside. Instead, let’s leave the house and go investigate what’s happening in the world outside beyond our bubble homes. It doesn’t matter who the president is, but rather what we do. Listen to every noise, vigilantly.

Here's how author Angela He suggests you can get involved: "Here's How to Make Sure Congress Hears You"

*Contact your government to make sure you're heard.

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