The Bliss of Not Knowing

For a long while I have been constantly updating myself with news of social or political nature such as the war in Syria, the Charlie Hebdo attack, the desperate situation of the migrants in the Mediterranean and of those in refugee camps, the Scottish independence referendum or the presidential elections in Romania. I have always believed that knowing is where the true power comes from but how can someone resist not being shaken to the core by the ravages such knowledge leaves behind?

Exactly one year ago I have written about people tending to ignore “unpleasant” news no matter how real and current they may be. Not many can control their emotions when faced with the harsh reality of our world and I’m not sure I can either. Of course, I’m still convinced today as I was back then that even if I cannot always physically help those who need it, the least I can do is learn about their pain but for my own sake I have to reduce the intake of information until I learn how to harness the feelings various situations invoke in me.

My daily ritual for quite a long time was wake up and drink a steaming cappuccino while reading the news on my laptop. Slowly I realized that this routine not only managed to agitate me first thing in the morning, but it replaced other more productive habits such as writing or reading a book (the latter is my evening ritual).

I enjoy discussing the latest news with my parents or my friends because I feel we all are responsible to be aware of the world we live in but I never asked myself whether there’s a limit to how much news a person can deal with. I often feel so guilty for not learning earlier about certain events and I certainly am uncomfortable now that I decided to reduce the amount of news I read on a daily basis. Does not knowing right away equal with not caring?

I have noticed those around me who don’t know a thing about the world outside their sphere of existence and I realized they’re so happy. I’m not sure I would like to be in their shoes because being aware of the terrible societies we live in makes me less naive, but it makes me wonder what is easier: to live happily ignorant or sadly aware?

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