In our world of attention spans measured in nanoseconds and exponentially increasing torrents of information to process we tend to take shortcuts. In America, this cognitive laziness can manifest in various ways. One overarching tendency is to declare anything international – or even outside our own individual spheres of influence – as irrelevant. Once that distinction is made, we can justify our apathy and lack of concern with any variety of excuses. For those with eyes to see and ears to hear: what is happening in Venezuela is important.
A bit of background on the reality that millions of Venezuelans are dealing with
I often used to think to myself that if the cost of human suffering alone is not enough for us to pay attention because of general malaise, then surely our self-preservation instincts should kick in and motivate us to become informed even if only to protect ourselves. Word to the wise: never ever underestimate the potency of the normalcy bias and cognitive dissonance. There comes a time when our shocking lack of selfish survival instinct – supposedly our most fundamental characteristic – is indicative of something more than laziness, apathy, or foolishness. Spiritual blindness is the only appropriate moniker.
Venezuela is important not only to the people who are living through this terrible time for the country but also to all of us who know that the architecture and infrastructure of systems around the world – particularly the financial system – are a hair’s breadth and one catalyzing event away from a similar fate. Keep your eyes open. Seek the truth. Prepare accordingly. Learn.