We live in a world where people are constantly busy attempting to earn money to be able to improve their requirements of living. It is a “rat race” in which people are so busy that they do not have time to be more attentive and aware of their surrounding environment. Thus, human beings often tend to be selfish and self-centered, and it is solely a failure in something that can make them actually stop, re-consider and appreciate matters and people that otherwise are taken for granted and ignored. As it is becoming much more and more difficult to get the attention of humans to something that, in their opinion, would not bring them direct benefits, it leads me to agree with the statement that “you need to shock people into paying attention”.
It becomes extremely difficult to get the attention of a person for them to be able to understand the message. Paying attention to a subject matter means being completely involved in the matter and not just seeing something and storing it at the back of your mind saying that you will deal with it later. It often requires stimuli for one to pay close attention and to commit themselves to something. People, therefore, need to be shocked to pay attention to something.
Environmentalists have been constantly trying to make people understand the need to conserve the environment in which we live in. They have sought many ways to be able to convey their messages and demonstrate the gravity of issues yet people have not been interested in their views. Governments have not been keen on passing appropriate legislation for an environmental cause, which have led to degradation of the environment, often for the sake of pursuing needs of economic development. However, once the environment began to respond to our unhealthy practices with the increasing natural disasters people started to pay close attention. Nature shocked us through certain natural activities such as global warming, desertification, climate change, and changes in the patterns of the seasons, hurricanes and tornadoes. It is only when nature reacted to our actions that people and governments began to be more aware of what environmentalists had been saying for decades. People have started adopting ways in which carbon fuels emissions can be reduced on the planet. They have adapted to the use of renewable energy sources and other means of environmental conservation to be able to save the environment in which they live in.
Another issue, racism has been a challenge that existed in the world for a long period. The black American people have particularly been on the receiving end of racial injustices in America since the colonial error (Lee). Black people have been discriminated due to the color of their skin with the majority of white people believing that they are superior because due to their race. This has been a problem that minorities have lived with, and those people who were not directly affected have not been interested or aware of it. However, there has been a rise in the killings of black American males by police and other people and a rise in demonstrations and movements such as “Black lives matter” that seeks to address racism. The black American male has always been stereotyped as a violent individual resulting to a belief that one needs to protect themselves in his presence. The killings have however shocked people into realizing that racism is a problem that needs to be dealt with so that people can live together and not be discriminated by the color of their skin.
Many people are aware that they need to adopt a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle is instrumental as it helps to curb many diseases that sometimes tend to come up in older age. People are aware that they need to eat a balanced diet and exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, the majority of people do not follow such lifestyle; they wait until they are shocked by the diseases before they actually start to control their eating habits.
Some of the governments are very reluctant in ensuring that their countries are safe. They do not adopt proper security features in their countries, and only in incidents of terrorism that shock everyone they start to ensure that they take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of their citizens. People who see the reports of terrorist activities on television often are not alarmed by what is truly happening on the ground. When they see the mass execution of people, it affects them but only for a short period. When terrorists attack their own countries, and people whom they know are killed that is when they start to pay close attention to the security threats and demanding that the government adopts policies and regulations that can protect them.
People need to pay close attention to what is happening around them. We should not turn a blind eye to things that we deem not beneficial to us or that are not affecting us in a direct way. The most important foundations of humanity such as caring for other people need to be restored. Paying attention to important issues before they result in shocking consequences is therefore very important and can prevent a lot of catastrophic events. People need to learn how to pay attention without necessarily being shocked.
Lee, Georgina. “How Many Americans Think Racism Is Not A Problem In The US Today? Four Graphs That Explore Race in America.” Channel 4 News, 2017, https://www.channel4.com/news/factcheck/how-many-americans-dont-believe-racism-is-a-problem-in-the-us-four-graphs-that-explore-race-in-america