The world has reached a staggering population of nearly 8 billion people spread out among over 190 countries. With those kinds of enormous numbers, countless dramas are playing out in every corner of the planet at any given moment. So why should you try to keep up with what’s going on when it can be so overwhelming? Keeping informed about the news, whether in your area or across the earth in other countries, can have surprising advantages. Here are some important benefits that can come from tracking the affairs of the day.
Connection to the Greater World
The Earth is massive, but staying up-to-date with other countries’ happenings can help it feel a little smaller. Political experts like Gregg Roman know the importance of staying abreast of current events throughout the world. Places like Israel, China, and Russia may seem like they exist on another planet, but even just a quick browse through international news sites can make them feel that much closer.
Development of Empathy
It can be easy to wrap yourself in your insular world, surrounding yourself with others who think, look, act and live just like you. By tracking events around the world, you can begin to learn about the things that make others both similar to and different from you. You can build your empathy when you imagine yourself in others’ situations and open yourself to different perspectives. It may be harder to judge others when you realize just how extraordinarily varied humans’ experiences throughout the world can be. And by reading the opinions of others, you may find that they have thought through their opinions and they believe as much in their convictions as you do.
Capacity for Conversation
Ever run out of things to talk about at a party? Small talk can be rough to maintain once you’ve already pontificated on the weather and the good punch. Current events can be an excellent ice breaker, as long as you stick to some less controversial topics; not to mention you might impress someone with your grasp of today’s goings-on.
Return on Investment
How much work does it take to log on to your social media accounts? That’s about the level of effort required to keep up with the news, whether in your local area or across the ocean. You can easily follow newspapers or broadcast stations on your social media outlets, and there are plenty of organizations that distill the news into easily understandable daily snippets. Try podcasts or email newsletters if just reading the paper sounds dull. Keeping up with current events is too simple to excuse yourself from, and its benefits greatly outweigh any inconvenience or effort needed.
People can inhabit vastly different worlds between continents, countries, cities, and even neighborhoods. It is important to be aware of the greater world to remember the part you play in it. You can make better decisions and be more socially responsible when you realize that you are not only a part of your smaller tribe but also a part of the greater human family.