Convert March ‘madness’ to action

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines priorities as, “something given attention before competing alternatives.” If you pay any sort of attention to what is going on across our country, it is clear that many Americans have their priorities flipped turned upside down. This is especially obvious during March, where sports fans go mad and confuse college basketball with something that actually affects or has real impact in our lives.

To start, sports play a major role in how we are socialized from a young age. Sports teach us leadership, teamwork, compassion, camaraderie, how to deal with adversity and overcome obstacles among other things. To say that there are no positives stemming from being involved in a sport on any level would be nonsensical. 

The first Olympic Games were held in Greece in 760 BC, so sports have been a part of the human experience for a large portion. This article is not written to call sports purposeless, or terrible.

However, sports are not the most important things that we should be concerned with, and are actually not even close to the top of the list. This message is not communicated properly throughout our society, and it is time we shift our priorities.

We spend hours, that add up to days, of our lives watching sports, talking about sports, watching ex-professional athletes talk about the sports we just watched. We will watch “Sportscenter” for hours on end to learn the strengths and weaknesses of every team, to make sure that our brackets don’t end up busted, but yet they always do.  And for what?

When looking at the bigger picture, it just seems silly to dedicate so many precious seconds of life to a game, especially when there are much bigger issues that we have nearly the same access too, but choose to ignore. 

About 60 percent of the eligible voting population voted in the 2016 presidential election, and while this is an increase from the 2012 election where about 58 percent of the eligible population voted, these rates are still unacceptable when compared to countries like Belgium, where approximately 87.2 percent of the eligible voting population casted a vote in their 2014 election. 

Imagine how our country could look if our priorities were straight. The NCAA brings in hundreds of millions of dollars every year, because of the importance we put on sports. Imagine hundreds of millions of dollars being invested into schools every year, or working to provide shelter for the homeless. 

In the words of the Notorious B.I.G., “we can’t change the world unless we change ourselves.” Maybe it is time to look within, take note of what’s really important and make personal changes, that can lead to bigger changes across society. It is time to get our priorities right-side-up. 

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