Lately, I find myself wishing I lived in blissful ignorance.
The whole notion of living in a bubble of positivity with an almost complete lack of outside input seems so incredibly appealing and potentially freeing. Can you imagine such a place? A place where one could ignore the daily realities of the cruelty of individuals and the ills of the world. A place where it really could be all sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows.
Such a lovely daydream, but so fraught with naiveté and a lack of responsibility to my fellow mankind (and my family, pets, friends, colleagues, and community). Intellectually, I know that ignorance is not truly bliss. I know that part of the social contract is that I engage with the messiness of life and support others’ likewise engagement.
But seriously, the world is nuts right now – as nuts as I have ever seen it. I spend most days bouncing between abject concern and righteous indignation. Every day, every hour, there is some new news that harshes my mellow.
And I do not like it, not one bit. But what can one do in a world replete with never-ending assaults on peaceful existence? People abusing kids, animals, each other, trust, money, power, law, the environment, institutions, morals – you name it – turn in any direction and you will see evidence of such abuse on the news, in social media, in the community, in the work place, and sometimes in the home. And then there are those things that are endemic in the world – poverty, disease, famine, ethnic conflict, and other inequities and injustices – these too sear the soul. There is no respite.
I think that knowing about those things happening around us creates an internal dilemma for most human beings. A feeling that something should be done so that tomorrow our planet is not as angst-ridden as today. But what is to be done? It has to be more than just righteous indignation, it has to be something that allows us all to get a little closer to a place of peaceful co-existence.
But there is so much to do, where does one even start? It seems to me that Teddy Roosevelt’s word are particularly appropriate here: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” I think the most pressing first step for those of us who are yearning for blissful ignorance is to recognize that it is no longer an option. The solutions to the current problems humanity faces require our purposeful engagement with each other. So engage, however you can, no matter how small the effort – do something. Our increasingly fragile system will crumble if we all attempt to retreat to blissful ignorance.
We will never live in a perfect world, but I believe we can live in one less fraught with angst, injustice, inequity, and cruelty…let’s get there together. You start from where you are and I will start from where I am…and when we find our way to that peaceful existence we seek, I will bring the lollipops.
Another day in the new forty – obla di obla da