Thursday, May 1, 2014

Ignorance Is Bliss...

...and once it is lost, there is no going back. I remember the first time a friend and co-worker said this to me. At the time her comment left me wondering exactly what she meant. After all, I prided myself in being aware of both my surroundings and the larger world around me. I felt that knowledge was power. When I asked her what she meant, she explained that sometimes it is simply possible to know too much about something--whether it be a person, a place, or a situation-- and knowing so much information could cloud how you viewed everyone and everything else around you. This conversation got me thinking then and now, months later, I am still thinking about it because she was so right in her statement.

The context of our conversation was our jobs but in reality the idea can apply to every aspect of our lives, both on the macro and micro levels. Yes, I still believe that it is important to be aware and well informed about the world around us but there is a point when too much information or knowledge is just that, too much. But I'm talking events and their corresponding details that are of local, national, or international importance--contentious elections, impending war, large scale tragedies. These are just a few examples of events that as world citizens we should be aware of. On the other end of the spectrum, extra-maritial affairs by politicians, bad behavior perpetrated by celebrities, and other sensational headlines are information that rarely adds anything of value to our lives. So do we need to know about these events? Probably not.

But let's follow this train of thought to a personal level. In the office do we need to know the nitty-gritty details of our co-workers' personal lives? Unless it directly impacts their work and the operations of the office, I would argue that we don't. After all someone might be a great employee but if I know about questionable actions in their personal life I am apt to look at them differently. So once you know something-whether it be good or bad- you can't erase that knowledge.

There is something wonderful about not knowing the ugly details of life and here in Belgium I'm trying hard to take this tactic. I'm doing my best to stay out of the office, playground, and school politics. If you need a volunteer just ask and I'll do what I can but I'm not going to get overly involved in a project or activity until I am sure that it is the right fit for me. Because as experience has shown me, once you venture down that rabbit hole it is very hard to pull yourself back out. And as I am quickly learning, it is so much more enjoyable to attend an event, whether it be a bazaar, lecture, or simply a dinner, where I am unaware of the details that went into pulling it together. Since I've been on the other side for too long I am appreciative of the work and effort and perhaps drama and personal struggles that went into bringing the event to fruition. Been there, done that and I will profusely thank others for their efforts but for the time being I simply don't want to take that burden on as my own. Perhaps this is a bit selfish but for the time being, I'm going to live in my bubble of bliss.

No comments:

Post a Comment