Does Ignorance Make Us Happy?

August 5, 2011

I’m not sure about this. It’s not that I always face reality. I have been known, probably far too frequently, to willfully ignore (as best I can) things that I don’t want to think about. I wonder if anyone truly can live in total reality.

I suspect all of us make our own accommodations. A rough analogy: if I have $100 to give, and gave to every cause I value, each would get a fraction of a cent. So I have to choose between needs.

Similarly, I have a day, and I have things to do and to think about. I have to choose which are done and which are left. And if there are things I cannot do anything about, but that worry or frighten, or even things that interest me, I still have to ration my time.

And, to be honest, there are things I don’t want to think about because they are so horrible.

A crucial distinction: this is not the same thing as denying them. I face facts, I just don’t always want to think about them. They are there, they are real, but I do not focus on them.

Even more crucial: I never try to force others to live in my willfully ignorant interpretation of reality.  I wish politicians would have that integrity. However much they have to pick and choose what to address in the real world, facing reality and respecting the diverse world of reality would be better for everyone than imposing their fantasies on others.

I wonder, how do you choose what will occupy your mind and what is set aside?



4 Responses to “Does Ignorance Make Us Happy?”

  1. Princess Says:

    I actually always try to focus on positive things or make the best out of it. And I’m always looking for the best in people in my life- it is working out quite well!

  2. mhilm Says:

    I have to agree. I think for most of us, that’s the best survival strategy. Though I truly admire people whose positive focus is to get in the trenches and make a difference to someone or something. It takes a courage that I don’t have.
    Finding the best people – ah. Everyone has their own idea of who that is, but yes. People who inspire, who stimulate, who laugh at the same things, who are always there for each other, who respect and appreciate each other’s differences. Best people.

  3. Hi, new here. The title of your post is a question I think about often, and sometimes wish I could attain “unawareness” because maybe it’s better for you health. It’s impossible (for me, anyway) to maintain a positive attitude all the time with all that is happening in the world…but that may simply be something that’s hardwired into your personality. All questions, no answers!

    • mhilm Says:

      It’s tricky, isn’t it? I delude myself in pretending I don’t think about stuff. It always finds its way back into mind. For me, focusing on little pleasures helps. Consciously appreciating the sunset or a flower: sounds silly, but it does remind me to look for balance, and sometimes actually works!
      Thanks for stopping by.

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