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When the World is Crappy, I Choose Ignorance

Bad people are the worst and need to disappear now. Innocent people being hurt and killed is totally wrong and unfair. People spreading hate and false rumors, who use their stories and thoughtfully strung words to get blind followers and create groups of uprising can go ahead and stop now. Evil needs to go right back to where it came from–HELL.  

And those are all the biggest understatements of the year. But words can never adequately describe such things.

Sometimes the world just seems like a crappy, crappy place. And once I get on that mindset, my thoughts spiral and continue to spiral down down down toward the dark, black hole of all-encompassing negativity, whereupon entering, there may be no return.

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Fortunately I’ve never quite reached that black hole. But man, this past week I’ve gotten pretty close.

It doesn’t help that I decided to pick up The Maze Runner from the library to read for the first time. The book was great, and I’m looking forward to finishing the series, but living within that fictional dystopian world these past several days somehow hasn’t worked to improve my outlook on our real one. It also doesn’t help that my husband’s favorite channel is CNN and favorite past time is watching all the news stories in the world. I guess it makes him feel informed, or something. And I guess some people like to be informed..?

Not me. My preference is ignorance and bliss.

I hope those who enjoy being informed on the details of world events try to understand people like me, and not make us feel unintelligent or uncaring for not knowing more. Because it’s not that I’m so stupid or naive or heartless that I don’t want to be bothered with the unimaginably terrible situations people in the world are facing right this very moment, thousands of miles away in places I’ve never visited, because it’s not happening to me, this white American middle-class girl born in a free land all thanks to my ancestors I know so little of but mostly luck. It’s not that at all. For me, ignorance is a survival mechanism that keeps me going along day-to-day without crying hysterically in the bathroom, without sleeping in my son’s bed at night and cuddling him so tightly because we’re all going to die and who knows when and what is this world I’ve brought him into, without fear living in my heart at all times controlling my every move and blocking out happiness and recognition of all good things this world still has to offer.

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I don’t know myself to have any true anxiety disorder that needs to be medically treated, but I know many people deal with such things and shouldn’t feel ashamed for a second. I do, however, think of myself as an overly-sensitive, emotional person who feels too much when I allow those feelings that demand to be overly-felt and can’t get thoughts of bad, sad, scary things out of my head once they’ve seeped or bombarded their way in there (and this is why I don’t watch scary or remotely scary movies, because I am consistent in the things I can and can’t handle, and wish not to be an insomniac for the rest of my life).

When I say I vote ignorance, I don’t mean completely and utterly. I like to know the gist of important events happening in the world (and unless I lived under a rock, I will always know at least that much), enough so that I can keep the hurting, mistreated, abused people in my thoughts and prayers (that’s about all I’ve ever managed to do for such people I don’t know, as well as an occasional donation; I do hope to be able to help on a more personal level one day). But I don’t need to know every detail of what happened to them, explained and analyzed by reporter after reporter, or see news videos showing actual footage taken while poor innocent people were being shot and murdered in cold blood. I’d bet the poor innocent survivors of such events can’t get that tragic, uninvited memory out of their heads and pray to God that they could just forget, have that scene of what they lived through erased from their minds, so they don’t have to view and repeat, repeat, repeat, living through it over and over again for the rest of their lives.

I understand that people’s emotions and reactions are different. Some people watch and read detailed accounts of disaster and despair and it makes them feel more for the victims, and feeling for people is always good. There will always be hope for humanity as long as there is empathy. For some I think, watching and reading detailed accounts of disaster and despair is just like seeing more of the same from yesterday, last week, a year ago, and doesn’t extract any real feelings at all. Perhaps they should take a step back to find something that does make them feel again lest they lose their own humanity. For me, detailed accounts of disaster and despair just make me feel sick and honestly, quite hopeless, indeed–the very opposite reaction of what victims need their fellow humans to feel if anything is to ever change for the better.

The purpose of being informed to any degree of world events can’t be for entertainment when we’re bored or pure knowledge of things so that we can bring it up in conversations later and sound so knowledgable, perhaps even throwing in our own strong opinions on the subject for purpose of controversy and a good debate and more entertainment in getting some to fully support us and others all riled up in disagreement. The purpose of being informed of the goings-on in the world, the real blessing of media and technology and having the world at our finger tips is so that we can be aware of those who need help and do something to aid, however small it may be. At least I hope this is the reason we want to be informed (and the reason the media wants to inform us).

That, and for the purpose of being able to see the flames of light in even the darkest, black holes. The helpers among the destroyers. The heroes among the killers. This is what pulls me out of my funk every time the world gets me down. The stories of survival and pressing on when almost everything has been lost. The people who spread hope and peace, goodwill and charity, defiance and refusal to spread hatred and negativity even when it would be so easy, understandable even, to do so. And so I thank you, World, for always pulling me back up after you’ve gotten me down.

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