People say ignorance is bliss, but I don’t believe that for a second.
Ignorance is sticking your head in the sand and pretending like the world isn’t moving around you. When you are ignorant, you are living in fantasy, denying truth, and generally not acknowledging that which is real.
Ignorance allows people to be cold, callous, and devoid of feeling. When people are ignorant, they can go ahead and live their life like they don’t have a care in the world when people are suffering around them. Ignorance allows governments to write off the deaths of soldiers as mere ‘collateral damage.’ Furthermore, being ignorant allows us to drive our cars and pollute our air and our oceans and leave plastic bags and bottles and cigarette butts behind because we choose not to see or acknowledge the damaging effects of our actions. Ignorance allows people to turn a blind eye to human suffering, animal cruelty, police brutality, sex trafficking, domestic violence, and domestic terrorism.
Those who are ignorant are turning a blind eye. But, just because you turn your head in the other direction does not mean that the reality we are all living in does not exist. Just because your head is in the sand does not mean that the world around you is just fine as it is.
Ignorance is a defense mechanism.
If you’ve been sticking your head in the sand to avoid the harsh realities of life, I get it. Ignorance is also a defense mechanism. Ignorance makes it so that you don’t have to bear the weight of the world’s problems on your shoulders. If you don’t know about all of the pain and suffering that is happening in the world, it makes it easier to get through the day. Not knowing makes it easier to focus on things in your life, the people that are important to you. Not knowing, or remaining ignorant to, the issues that are affecting humanity can make life a little less stressful and a little bit more bearable. But, I implore you, if you have been sticking your head in the sand, please stop. If you spend your life with your head in the sand, I guarantee that it will seep into your eyes, your nose, your mouth and eventually suffocate you.
Turning a blind eye allows things to get worse instead of better. As a society, we will never make progress if we fail to acknowledge that there are things that need improvement. Discrimination will never go away if we don’t believe it exists. Sex trafficking will never cease if we don’t acknowledge that it is a problem. Much like alcohol addiction, the first step in dealing with the problem is admitting that you have one.
So please, if you are turning a blind eye or sticking your head in the sand, start looking up. Start acknowledging the problems. I implore you, stop convincing yourself that ignorance is bliss. Ignorance is grief, misery, and indifference shrouded in a gauzy, ephemeral, specious cloak.