Knowledge Vs. Bliss.

I've been making an effort to become more educated as of late. I notice that a lot of the time when friends and classmates are discussing political or world events, I have no clue what they are talking about. And that's sort of pathetic, considering I sit at a computer all day long with tons of time to learn about the world. So pretty much every day, I spend some time going over the NY Times website and learning about what's going on around me.
But I feel a mixture of emotion when I'm reading this stuff. For one, I'm glad to know about what is happening. This week I've been reading a lot about the earthquake in Turkey, the protests in New York and around the US, and some of the upset in Greece over their government's financial situation (which, I admit, I'm still trying to understand it all). But at the same time, I feel sad. I feel sad to see how many terrible things are happening in the world at any given point in time. The arrests near Wall Street are nearing 1,000 since the middle of last month. There was a shooting in Sarajevo. I mean... I know this kind of stuff happens, but at what point is it important for my sanity to remain peacefully in the dark about some of it?
That's something I've struggled with my whole life, really. I feel like if I were left to my own devices I would walk around with my rose-colored glasses and when bad things happened I'd just cover my eyes. I hate hearing about bad things happening, especially to good people. And I think I could very blissfully remain ignorant of the world's bigger problems if I really wanted to. But then I realize that in order for anything good to come, there has to be some conflict. There has to be challenge in order to pursue better and brighter futures. I mean that in myself as well as the world. And I certainly don't want to be ignorant of why my world is the way it is, nor do I want to stand by watching other people participate while I cross my fingers or play with butterflies.
I guess it all comes down to balance. I already knew that, of course. But there has to be a balance of good and evil, joy and sorrow, complication and simplicity. We can't and wont win all the battles we fight, but that doesn't mean we should be all or nothing about them. Effort. Knowledge. Awareness of the world's problems. But with a little enjoyment for the GOOD things in life mixed in. I can spend an hour reading the newspaper, and spend the next little bit looking at pictures from National Geographic or listening to something beautiful on iTunes. There is good out there too. It's just about finding that balance between both worlds.

No comments: