Thursday, November 3, 2011

If Ignorance Is Bliss, Am I Too Smart to Be Happy?

I hesitated to write this post because I know how cocky it may make me seem. (Of course, if you know me, you probably already use that word to describe me. Ha.) Plus, it practically begs others to catch me in the middle of some stupid mistake. 

But, I happened to be on and wouldn't you know it? This is the word of the day:

 OBSCURANTISM      opposition to the increase and spread of knowledge

So, now I figure it's some grand sign from the universe or something. <smirk>

Let me make this much clear from the beginning: my frustrations do not stem from the idea that I'm just so much smarter than the general population that I can hardly tolerate others. Rather, I'm well aware that, while I am indeed intelligent, I'm certainly not the smartest person in existence. There are soooo many people who are brilliant compared to me. 

This is the very reason that I'm baffled about how things that seem so obvious to me (a barely above-average person) are apparently difficult for others to grasp. 

I recently came to this realization: Ignorance is not the same thing as stupidity. Ignorance is a lack of knowledge whereas stupidity is the inability to learn. (Or, at least, the inability to learn easily.)

So now I think my irritation does not come from believing there are too many stupid people in the world. Instead, I think there are too many lazy people. That's right, too many people who are too apathetic to educate themselves.

Apparently it's just convenient to not be knowledgeable (thus the bliss - without working towards something, you're basically on a perpetual vacation from reality). There seems to be this common belief that being uninformed somehow absolves one of personal responsibility. 

Um, that's not how it works. You can throw all of your bills into the trash without opening them, but that doesn't change the debt you owe. 

(And, ahem, if you're alive then you owe something good to the world. We all should be contributing.)

Perhaps, it's because I've spent the last year working in a customer-service-type position that my frustrations have escalated. While I have the pleasure of interacting with many pleasant people, I'm also exposed to a vast number of less-than-charming and idiotic people. 

Some particularly annoying things happen a little too frequently. For example, there is a form patients fill out that asks this optional question: What is your religion? 

The list includes Catholic and Protestant. Too often, the patient looks at me and says, "Uh, I'm a Christian. Why isn't that on here?" And then eventually I hear this statement, "But I'm Baptist (or Methodist, Pentecostal, etc) not Protestant."

Now, do I expect everybody to know that Baptist is a denomination under the Protestant religion? Nope. But if you're going to consider yourself a die-hard Christian, dedicated to a certain belief system associated with the title Baptist/Methodist/Pentecostal/whatever, and especially if you're going to go around touting that you have Jesus, so you have all the answers... then YES, I expect you to know what the fuck you're talking about. And that most certainly includes knowing the very basics of your religion of choice.

This is a minor thing. My real grievance is with the world at large. Because the world is an illogical place - and I plead with someone to prove me wrong.

Why are there so many kind and wholesome women who struggle to get pregnant only to then miscarry four times when there are other women who have four abortions in a matter of three years because they're too lazy to use actual birth control?

Why is it illegal in this country to drive, smoke, drink or join the military before a certain age, but the government will pay for a teenage girl to give birth to a child she will neither love nor take proper care of? 

Why do people seem to think it's okay for a wealthy celebrity to pay over ten million dollars for a wedding (and then get divorced two months later!) when there is so much hunger and disease in the world? I believe in enjoying life, but I'm not okay with blatant disregard to the current human existence. I do no care how much of your wealth you already donate to charity - it is not acceptable to spend that disgusting amount of money on a single luxurious event when there is still so much suffering in the world.

I know this post is... depressing. But sometimes the frustration in my mind and the heavy feeling in my chest is too much to keep inside. These are the things that keep me up at night - and understandably so. When your eyes are wide-open, how can you sleep?

Writing (and, yes, sarcasm) is my weapon of defense.

*As you can see, I've always had this little smirk*


  1. What about the one where the wife leaves her husband for freedom and to have fun but when she sees $$$$ she becomes a Golddigger and runs back to his arms ????

    Or the one where she doesn't take care of her children and pawns them off while she is out having irresponsible fun...

  2. Your cowardly anonymity is cute. (Ahem, that was sarcasm.)
    I'm going to put you in the ignorant category since you are clearly uninformed when it comes to my relationship (s).
    Thanks soooo much for stopping by!!

  3. Yeah I don't fully understand this concept either.

    So many people pretend they are intelligent, confident, all-knowing individuals. But when you get to know them better you discover how much it's all an act. People aren't very honest with themselves when it comes to making self-improvements.

    I was raised by parents who constantly pointed out what I was doing wrong, or where I could improve. So of course as an adult I am always aware of how something can be improved, and perhaps that's the reason why I don't feel happy most of the time since my focus is on what is wrong.

    I think everybody is the way they are because of their genes, childhood and life experiences. It would be nice, at the very least, if people were more considerate of others. Unfortunately, many people don't care.

    Just try not to blame others for being ignorant. Believe me, I know it's not easy...many times I'd like to take a baseball bat to their heads. Something I've learned is to let the ignorant people say what they say, give them a blank (non-judgmental) face, and just surround yourself with with good people.

    It does take a conscious effort not to follow the crowd when you know the crowd is being irrational. And it's not always easy either.

    Just some thoughts I had. Thanks for writing this.