When the world gets figuratively smacked up, sometimes it’s easier to turn a shoulder. It’s something I’ve been musing about for years now. With scandals occurring, well, daily, from Rupert Murdoch’s disastrous attempt at upholding journalistic standards with his papers and FOX News to Anthony Weiner being, cough, inappropriate at best, I’m just hearing about Harry Potter and Kate and Will’s recent parade around Canada. Or that Google+ is making a big move against Facebook. Where’s the real news? You know, like the bombings that just ripped through India. Like the worst drought in decades strangling East Africa right now—it’s being called the worst humanitarian crises in the world by the UN, but you’d be hard pressed to find a front page headline about it. Or, something that’s closer to home, the possibility of another sliding recession. We’re just balancing on a scale right now. A fiscal tipping point.

I understand that soft, fluff news is just easier to digest. Makes total sense. But is it OK to be ignorant in what is happening around us?—I’m going to err on the side of no. It’s just worrying. It was the Dalai Lama that said we were “raising a generation of passive bystanders.” If that’s a true observation, it could have a serious backlash. We’re become a sheltered world in an increasingly connected world. A tragic oxymoron. It’s all-too-easy to just use the Internet for what we need it for, which in turn, dictates what we see and read via Facebook, Twitter and now Google+, inter alia. We stick to our little online community that typically supports our already-defined beliefs. We need to constantly challenge ourselves, though, to step outside our comforting online worlds and be critical. It’s for our betterment.

Journalism is taking a real beating in the U.K. right now due to the fall and illegal activity of the News of the World. It’s a scandal that goes all the way up to the British Prime Minister, David Cameron. But here we have opiates for the masses—new blockbuster movies (Harry Potter, albeit it does sound riveting), Will and Kate (bless them, but we don’t need a media frenzy to follow their every steps, I’m sorry), and Rob Ford not attending Pride Parade is seemingly a hot topic that got everyone up in arms. Those are the things, most definitely menial on a world scale, that we’re talking about. In turn, we’re sheltering ourselves.

This post is more of a challenge than anything. I was reading a Lululemon bag the other day. (Don’t ask; it was just in my eyesight.) Decorating it, as you probably know, are bundles of words with cute, uplifting statements. One of the statements stood out: “Do something once a week that scares you.” What a brilliant idea. Take on a fear, a challenge, a problem and face it. Not easy, but like I said, brilliant.

Let’s try it out.

—RYAN BOLTON

Written by Ryan Bolton

Ryan is a Toronto-based writer and photographer that likes to break the rules. His work has taken him around the world to do what he truly loves—storytelling. And drinking cold beer.