An involved citizen is our best weapon against instability

The United States became directly involved in Syria for the first time in six years with a missile strike earlier this month.

A deadly chemical attack on Syrian civilians prompted President Trump’s approval for use of force. Trump sent a clear message to the world with 59 missiles in a couple of minutes: the United States will no longer stand by and let atrocities be committed without repercussions.

The U.S.’s relationship with other countries is uncertain and unpredictable. Russia, once Trump’s ally during his campaign, now seems to be shady and untrustworthy. Our relationship with China is contingent on how we regard Taiwan and North Korea – an unsteady gauge for an administration that can’t agree on a foreign policy.

But these ever-changing relationships is why it’s more important than ever to be a global citizen.

Being a global citizen means educating yourself on domestic and foreign affairs, understanding how such large-scale issues relate to you and then taking action to support the causes you believe in.

Students should recognize that these large-scale issues impact their community.

“Nonresident aliens” make up one percent of Cosumnes River College students, according to a 2016 Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System report.

With a student body of approximately 15,000 students, this means 150 students are considered nonresident aliens and come from nations other than the U.S.

So how can an individual tackle such huge problems?

We can contribute whatever we can to our cause, whether it’s time, money, physical items or skills. Anyone has the ability to change the status quo. Any action, no matter how small, can make a difference.

Dedicate 15 minutes a day to write a letter to your legislators. Donate two dollars a month to your favorite nonprofit (that’s a grand total of 24 dollars a year). Meet others in your community and tell their stories through art, such as videos, photos or written pieces.

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, juggling academics, work and personal responsibilities.

But because of the opportunities our education presents us, and because we can make an impact on our community, we must keep our eyes open to what’s happening around us, and then how that influences our community.

Our students have stories. They come from a multitude of backgrounds. CRC students must be global citizens because our campus reflects a global community.

Dedicate your resources, regardless of the amount, to better the world around you by investing in a greater cause.