My background is a degree in Journalism with a minor in Anthropology. I have always been interested in culture, human history, and especially in human understanding and human rights.
I recently spent two months in Nicaragua. The first day I arrived, people were protesting in the streets. I learned they were protesting recent social security changes by President Daniel Ortega. As I began to talk to people, however, I learned that was just the trigger of what was a much bigger picture; People’s frustrations with the government becoming increasingly more a dictatorship. Violence escalated, human rights have been violated, and the more I learned, the more I felt affected by what was happening.
When I returned to the U.S., I still read the news, but it became distant again. The tension I could sometimes feel, the talks with others, it began to fade, as did my empathy of the situation. Talking to people in the U.S., many aren’t as aware, and those who are don’t fully understand or care to understand. The media reports, but with so much going on, we become detached and absorbed in our own lives. Is this necessarily a bad thing? Yes and no. There is so much turmoil in the world, that if we always pay attention and get absorbed in the sadness, life would seem bleak. However, there is a difference between awareness and empathy and just blatant ignorance. If everyone cared a little, gave a little, shared a little, we would live in progressively better world. It could just be the intensely idealistic viewpoint I have, but I wholeheartedly believe that.
One of my favorite quotes is by Jimi Hendrix:
“When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.”
I think it’s also important to get the story straight, or at least to weigh multiple perspectives. For example, an Uber driver I met in Salt Lake City was an immigrant from Rwanda. One of my favorite films was “Hotel Rwanda,” but hearing his personal story about his experience during the conflict, he claimed that Paul Rusesabagina, the hero of the film based on real life, was not painted in the correct light. This led me to research and question his acclaimed heroism and that movie, although I still don’t know the exact “true story.”
I’m hoping to travel back to Nicaragua, and to highlight some of these stories, as the conflict is ongoing.