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News to me

September 19, 2008

People often wonder how I can be such a well-traveled person but pay so little attention to national and world news.  It’s not that I don’t care – I care deeply that people are dying in Afghanistan and Iraq, that our economy is plummeting, that politicians are pandering to the public.  But people are also dying here in Lame Deer; the economy here is already near the bottom of the barrel; and local leaders are gearing up for the next tribal election. 

I care more about here than about there because here is where I am, and here is where my agency lies.  Knowing the nitty-gritty of what is going on in Iraq or what has happened in a politician’s bedroom does me much less good than knowing how my students feel about math, how people on the reservation feel about Penn State’s building projects, and what opportunities exist for tribal members to foster community development.  The more I know about my current community, the more productive and positive a member I can be of it. 

There’s simply not enough time in the day to keep up on the details of my local community and the details of “current events” as defined and shaped by the media.  So I immerse myself in what’s around me, knowing that by putting smiles on peoples faces and knowledge at their fingertips, I am affecting the spirit of our nation and the stability of our world. 

Think globally, act locally.  It’s a cliche, but I like it.


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