Being somewhat of an activist, a wannabe if nothing else, I find myself quite excited about 'Awareness Week' kicking off at Marymount College yesterday. The vague title is certainly intriguing, but it begs the question "of what?!" not to mention the sure follow up, "why?!" In a world that, not to put to fine a point to it, is screwed up, to become fully aware of its various issues would be to commit mental suicide- there are just too many issues in desperate need of attention. Trafficking, child soldiers, starvation, poverty, the dangers of plastic, the oil crisis, genetically modified organisms, bullying, education, pollution and torture to name just a few. Hearkening back to good old Tom (Thomas Jefferson), I must note that 'eternal vigilance is the price of liberty,' the freedom so enjoyed in the United States is protected by the collective awareness of her citizens. This, I believe, is why Ductus Exemplo and the folks at ResLife focus on raising awareness for issues that potentially effect the daily life of any given college student. Last night the 'Tunnel of Oppression' highlighted all of the above plus, yet it seems that more than raising awareness for
the plethera of problems they are raising awareness for the need to be aware. Gaining a few new signatures on a petition or having students jump on a bandwagon is not the end of the conversation. The call to awareness is a call to life thoughtfully and reflectively. Oppression exists much closer to our reality than many, myself included, are comfortable with. Sadly, as I reflected I found it lurking sneakily in some of my own attitudes, people who I thought I knew by their outside appearance.
And so, my friends, the challenge is to put that education to use- think- and with that be aware.