Pearl 5: Know What’s Going on in Your World
“Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away."
- Marcus Aurelius
Original text: Current events, my friends. It is more important than ever to know what is going on in and around you world. Major world events as well as local happenings can have a huge impact on your life. If not only for personal benefit and enrichment, you’ll always have something to talk about at get together’s!
Commentary: Ignorance may be bliss. But, only in rare situations when said ignorance works in your favor and is otherwise excusable. Ignorance of timely events, issues and happenings is an egregious social and professional blunder. Seriously people...there is nothing worse than having no clue what people are talking about in just about any situation. The ability to participate in and "hold your own" in a conversation says a lot about you in a most positive manner.
Socially speaking, keeping up with current events and issues can prove to be highly beneficial when initiating and maintaining relationships. Conversations require content. World, national & local happenings make for excellent content! A general knowledge of pop culture is also recommended.
Professionally speaking, perception is everything and then some. You want co-workers, customers and/or colleagues to perceive you as a generally informed individual. Basic knowledge of world, national and local events is important. However, keeping current with issues, trends and news within your professional field is of utmost importance.
A common perceptual tendency known as the "halo effect" can be your best friend or your ultimate foe based on the perceptions of others. If others perceive you as knowledgeable, they are likely to assume that you possess additional positive qualities that are related. If the opposite is true and others perceive you as ignorant and uninformed, the associated assumptions will be less than complimentary whether they are true or not.
So, how does one increase their knowledge of current issues and events? There are many ways to do this and you can pick and choose what works best for you. My student and friend, Brooke Chaplin once described the local news as "depressing." I certainly can't argue with her on that one (and I can argue just about anything). So, if watching a full broadcast of the local or national news sounds less than uplifting, there are countless other avenues that can clue you in.
The internet is a great place to start. Headlines are literally everywhere. Even the Yahoo homepage includes current headlines. One News Now offers a daily "news briefing" that comes directly to your e-mail box. No heavy reading required. I'm also a big fan of CNN's Breaking News Alerts. All you do is sign up and the breaking news headlines will come to you as they happen. These alerts are short and to the point.
If you want to be informed via television (or streaming video) without enduring a traditional news cast, you have a multitude of options: