I often hear Marin compared to a protective bubble that traps its residents in a false, ‘perfect’ reality. I am guilty of falling victim to this lifestyle. It was never that I wanted to, or that I would rather keep the blinders on that prevented me from seeing what was truly happening around me. Instead, I grew up ignorant because a choice to live otherwise was never presented to me, and as a result, I did not pop this bubble until I reached high school.
But I have also seen that ignorance is an epidemic that continues to poison the perspective of society as a whole; as social media has become a normalcy, it has become especially influential and has greatly impacted our progress and attention towards significant problems. It seems like the stories on the most interesting fashion styles or the trending recipes to try are always at the top of my feed, but the important news stories that describe racism and hate crimes are buried and hidden. I should not have to search for the things that matter.
High school was my wake-up call. I began to hear the horror stories of police brutality, harassment, and the vandalization of religious temples, though I still only ever heard of these incidents from my peers rather than from news sources; I would come to school in the morning, expecting an ordinary, calm day. But instead, a normal morning has become one where my friends ask me if I have heard about a fatal hate crime. It appalls me at what we have grown to accept as okay.
We have become a civilization of bystanders, where we just watch the world pass us by and allow horrible things to happen to our peers because the manifestation of ignorance is stronger than our will to understand. But in opening my eyes and taking the time to acknowledge the social quandaries of the world, I have almost completely abolished my own ignorance.
Throughout this journey, I have found that people who cannot personally relate to certain situations, especially discriminatory ones, tend to ignore or brush them off with the mindset that worrying about them is not worth their time.
This is the mentality that devastates our lives, as it prevents us from connecting with each other and putting ourselves in the position of others to fathom what they are going through; the cliché phrase “put yourself in someone else’s shoes” is much more relevant than many realize.
I cannot help the worry that has threaded itself through my thoughts. As a society, we truly need to work on addressing these broader dilemmas and face them head on, despite how intimidating they may be to acknowledge.
Yet, even with this doubt, I believe in our society. I believe that we can fight each battle, win, and reach a solution that will completely eradicate our somewhat unintentional insensitivity and ignorance. I believe that someday, we will fully understand how to respect one another.