Learn what’s going on around you

Published 12:13 am Saturday, October 17, 2015

By Chris Quilpa

I can’t think of any reason why folks are not aware of what’s happening in our world, specifically in our community. Except if they don’t care.

Most of us have television at home, along with smartphones and Internet access, and we have at least one subscription to a newspaper or magazine. We’ve also got access to this award-winning newspaper, the one we’re reading right now, that has been in existence since 1873.

Email newsletter signup

Most of us are involved in educating our children or grandchildren, one way or another, and we have visited or volunteered in their school. Likewise, most know where our city library is, or a neighboring city’s library, and have visited it occasionally, if not regularly.

My point? Clearly and emphatically: We need to stay informed to stay active, engaged and involved.

Bestselling author and lawyer Scott Turow wrote, “Widespread public access to knowledge, like public education, is one of the pillars of our democracy, a guarantee that we can maintain a well-informed citizenry.”

“Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government,” wrote Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and the third President of the United States.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “A nation of well informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins.”

With the information superhighway, our world is wired and connected to help enhance education for all of us, regardless of our income level.

The Internet has revolutionized our way of thinking and living. As long as we have access to information, we are informed of what’s going on in our volatile world.

This technology has kept us well informed — even overwhelmed by a bombardment of information that we can only control through self-discipline.

The overflow of information sometimes confused us and can cause questions as to what and whom to believe. Hence, we should observe tact, vigilance, and safety — Internet safety, that is.

It takes only a few minutes to learn what’s going on around us. With a browse of your local newspaper, a click of your mouse, a press of your TV remote control, a tap or a touch of your fingertip, you’re getting and staying informed.

So, stay informed to stay active and alive, engaged and involved. Visit a library near you, or turn on that TV or portable radio, especially when it’s news time, or read your newspaper. You’ll become a well-informed citizen.

Then, take whatever information you learned and use it to better yourself and others. Share what you learned. Doing so will benefit others.

Sharing truthful information to help others have a better life is a noble endeavor. To me, that’s caring.

Chris A. Quilpa, a retired U.S. Navy veteran, lives in Suffolk. Email him at chris.a.quilpa@gmail.com.