Viewpoint: Those people you read about in the news are actually real

The United Nations General Assembly in New York is giving many international issues more prominence in the media than they normally receive.

Many of these issues are not issues immediately relevant to the average college student.

Our days consist of papers, projects, tests, part-time jobs and the occasional church service on Sunday.

How could a nuclear program thousands of miles away, or drones dropping bombs in a land with people who speak a language I cannot even pronounce correctly, have any relevance to my life as a college student in Waco, Texas?

It is easy to think that we, as college-age Americans, are isolated from the events of the surrounding world.

It is easy to forget that the some of the black ink on the pages of a newspaper actually represents the life of a human being on the other side of the planet.

Often, we read a headline about a famine in Africa with the same casual observance as watching Haymitch Abernathy orchestrating a food drop for Katniss Everdeen in “The Hunger Games.” A clip about a car bomb in Iraq evokes less emotion than Bruce Wayne sacrificially flying a bomb out over Gotham’s bay.

But these stories are about real people with real passions, real hopes and real struggles.

The black ink on these pages is not just a medium for another story, but this ink represents the vibrant passions of people moved to action.

These are people imbued with righteous indignation and people weighed down with years of anger, people who are filled with the same joy and excitement we experience.

Benjamin Netanyahu is a man demanding the world recognize his right to protect the lives of nearly 8 million Israelis.

Mahmoud Abbas fights to legitimize the 64 year old struggle for self-government for the Palestinian people, while fighting to keep his people from carving out their demands with guns and rockets.

Georgian priests crowded Tbilisi streets in response to tapes revealing vicious treatment of prisoners in the Georgian penal system.

Mohamed Magariaf, the newly elected Libyan president, stood before a representation of the most powerful leaders in the world and apologized for the crimes of the Libyan “despot,” Moammar Gadhafi, and promised that Libya will be built by men like the late U.S. ambassador, Christopher Stevens.

I do not expect every Baylor student to have an informed opinion on every international issue covered by every paper.

No man alive has an informed opinion on every international issue.

Even so, it is good to be reminded that the edge of the world is not the edge of our social interaction.

Real life exists beyond our limited scope of personal experience and it is just as important as our own daily lives.

David Mclain is a senior journalism major from The Colony. He is a lab reporter at the Baylor Lariat.