How to burst the Libertyville bubble


Ben Kanches

It is hard to leave “the bubble” or the place you have called home for the majority of your life. Eventually you need to “pop” the bubble and expand your views.

“Libertyville Bubble” is a phrase that gets tossed around this suburb without much explanation or any proposed solutions. So, first, let me describe, as best I can, what I believe the “Libertyville Bubble” to be:
Libertyville Bubble /ˈlibərdē/ /vɪl/ /ˈbəb(ə)l/ (noun)
92.43 percent of the people who live in Libertyville are Caucasian. Libertyville has an average income of $115,709; both of these pieces of information are according to DataUSA, an organization that collects public, government data. This information is just one cause of the bubble. As a result of these demographics, many people may find themselves only seeing the world from a limited perspective, as many of the struggles that people have to face in the world are not faced in such a privileged town. A naivety to the outside world because of the immense privileges afforded in a town like Libertyville is best described as the “Libertyville Bubble.”
For example, many people in this town may be described as living in the “Libertyville Bubble” if they don’t have to worry about their race in any setting, don’t have to worry about their next meal or don’t have to thrift out of necessity.

So, hopefully you now know what it is. That is the first step to breaking the bubble — knowing and admitting that you are living in a bubble.
I would like to clarify that I am not the most enlightened or “woke” person out there. I certainly have heaps to learn about the world around me, but my perspective of the world is not confined to my little “Libertyville Bubble.”

The next step to breaking the “Libertyville Bubble” is wanting to break the bubble. Knowing that you are living in a bubble is half of the solution to the problem of suburbia-induced ignorance. It can be hard to find the motive to break the bubble because it can be nice to live in the bubble. If you live in the bubble, you don’t have to worry about stuff that doesn’t affect you. Ignorance is bliss! Wrong… scratch that! Ignorance is selfish. Living your life without care for the lives of millions around you is a selfish act, and it is not blissful in any way — knowing that there are millions of people suffering everyday and choosing not to do anything about it because it is more difficult is selfish. It is taking the path of least resistance, a path that is easy and blissful but hurtful to those around you who are forced off the path.

We’ve reached the final and most important step: actually breaking the bubble. It can be hard to know what to do after realizing the privilege afforded to many in a town like Libertyville and knowing how to actually make a difference.
One way to broaden your perspective is to read the news. People often use the excuse that the news is too sad to read, and again, I argue that being able to say that is a privilege in itself. For some, they cannot simply live without knowing how their lives will be affected by the treatment of people in the news. For example, many blacks, including me, cannot simply ignore the police brutality in our country as it affects us. It is imperative to know what is going on in other parts of the world in order to better understand what we can do to help or comprehend the reality of others.

Another way to break the bubble is to travel to a new place. It doesn’t have to be a different country. It can be as simple as driving 30 miles to North Chicago and physically seeing how people live in a different town — this will give you a new outlook to the world surrounding the bubble of Libertyville. Mission trips are awesome too, but it takes more than one week to truly break the bubble. My last tip for breaking the bubble is to join an activism club here at LHS. Clubs like Gay Straight Alliance and Students Ending Slavery are great options along with Advocats for gender equality and LHS United which I am heavily involved in. Clubs like these force students to consider the different problems minorities may face.

Breaking the “Libertyville Bubble” is crucial to fully experience all the different perspectives of life. A bubble is safe. A bubble is protected. But a bubble will be broken. I would argue that it is better for that bubble to be popped by you rather than an unwanted external force.