Why yes, ignorance is bliss

I want to preface this by saying, I write this today with a rather cheeky tongue. With that in mind…

We all know the saying “Ignorance is bliss”. Over the last few days, I have come to realize that saying is far more true and deeply profound as I original gave it credit.

Everyone, say it with me — “Ignorance is bliss.” Now, say it again — “Ignorance IS bliss”.

But how can someone who claims to not only be intelligent AND compassionate, espouse such sentiment? Let me break it down for you.

I opened up a can o’ worms thread on Facebook recently about health insurance. Now, I have a lot of intelligent followers on Facebook, so any time a good discussion starts, you can be sure the sharing of information will be keen — and it was. What came of that discussion was a brain dump that would make anyone step back and say “Wow, the American Health Care system is truly and profoundly broken!”

When you fully understand a subject or system you immediately get a peek behind the lovely, velvet curtain to see the grease, dirt, and human sweat. You see the flaws, the mistakes, and the breakdowns. Having that knowledge at your side can make for a wide-eyed awakening. You know how bad things are and how much worse they can be. The insurance issue is a perfect example:

  • You know the system is broken
  • You know a major factor in the broken system is corruption with Insurance and Pharmaceutical companies
  • You know doctors are hamstrung by insurance companies
  • You know there is no way to resolve the issue without amputating the infected appendages

There are so many other broken systems in the world and the more you know about them, the more frightening things can be. Of course, this nasty conundrum is a wicked business. Knowledge is a precious commodity that I wouldn’t trade for anything. But what do you do when that knowledge threatens your sanity? Do you turn your back? Do you beg for a state of blissful ignorance? Or do you tarry forward, hoping what brain power you have left will help you to unravel the confusion insisted upon you by the knowledge.

This is all so perfectly propped up by reality TV. Never before has there been such a collection of “train wreck” television that so well illustrated the effect of ignorance — both negatively and positively.

Wait — how can ignorance be positive? I guess that all depends on if you want to live in a state of bliss or not.

But really, is it bliss to live a life of ignorance; not knowing what is going on around you on such an absolute level? And is ignorance (on that level) in any way proportionate to compassion?

When I dove into the realm of authorship, I learned so many things about the publishing industry — many of them not so pleasant. That same thing could be said about nearly any industry. Dig into Hollywood and you’ll find PLENTY of bad tastes to roll around in your mouth… so much so it might make you think twice about ponying up the scratch for that latest Hollywood blockbuster.

The restaurant industry? Can you say “drug problems”? I bet you can. What about the fitness industry? Eating disorder anyone? The list goes on and on and on. Everyone sleeps with everyone else, no one is innocent, the bad guys will win, and the good guys? Well, do they really exist?

You see? It’s easy to ride that slip and slide across the yard of cynicism. The hard part is to not give in, to reclaim your intellect, and not have it fold you inside out.

Intelligence is what’s in — what’s sexy. But knowing what to know isn’t as simple as one might think. And that leads me to believe the only sane way to be intelligent is to cherry pick what you comprehend. Or… better yet, help to make a difference. Although I have no idea how, I would like to think there is a way for us to fight the healthcare system in this country and make it realize that WE are what’s important and without US, there would be no system to corrupt.

As much as it pains me to know, I want to know more — and hopefully one of us smart-ass bastards will figure out exactly how to expose those corrupt systems for what they are and begin a radical change. Along with that radical change, we can all stop turning a blind eye and hoping to live in that ignorant bliss.

Remember, knowledge is power. At the moment, knowledge is the only power the citizens of this country have. It’s been proved, over and over, our votes carry no weight. Our voices and our intelligence, however, are mighty powerful weapons.