A Conscious Ignorance

I have grown weary of paying heed to a heedless world. Weary of daily examining the endless tragedy, corruption, greed, degradation, misery, and injustice that passes for news these days. Weary of watching and listening while others simply turn a blind eye and a deaf ear. Weary of caring more for humankind than it cares for itself. Why should I?

A flower that turns away from the light cannot fully blossom. My spirit has shriveled with the darkness. I yearn to escape the shadows. Is that so wrong?

Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote that “there are many things of which a wise man might wish to be ignorant.” At this moment, I wish to be ignorant of the world’s myriad troubles and of the fools and tyrants that enable such. Knowledge is not power here. It is spiritually corrosive. It is painful and distressing. A conscious ignorance is the anodyne.

For the time being, I choose to pay no heed to the world at large. I will no longer allow the current of current events to drag me down. I will not read the New York Times, listen to NPR, watch newscasts or even the Daily Show, respond to mailed and e-mailed pleas for support from various groups and causes, or otherwise make an effort to remain informed. Strife and suffering will go on whether I tune in or tune out. What will change if I bear witness?

I will leave it to others to fight the good fight, rail against injustice, expose deceit and hypocrisy, and tilt against windmills. I can devote myself to less taxing pursuits. There are other things I can do and say and focus upon. I can write poetry and prose instead of diatribes and opinion pieces. I can take a different path, one that is less toxic and more affirming to my spirit.

It will not be easy. I have grown unhealthily accustomed–perhaps even addicted–to a diet I can no longer stomach, one that never truly fed me in the first place. I hunger for something more nourishing.

Do you understand?

Adieu, for now.

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4 responses

  1. I’ll miss you. Enjoy the Fall and drop us a line from the beauty of daily life.

  2. I pretty much understand. I still read the news, but I don’t respond the way I used to. My responding goes mostly to my family and to my clients, and there is a lot of responding required by those parties.

    I am glad for the writing you have done. You are always well spoken, witty, and frequently get me chuckling even as I am shaking my head at the tragic state of things. Sometimes I imagine writing a post about the Governor’s race in RI and who might be the better candidate, but eventually as I study the political class here, I feel like I am wasting valuable time, my time to be with my family, or just to be with myself.

    Best wishes, David. Come and visit us and we can be oblivious to worldly affairs together…

  3. Too bad,David-I may not have agreed with you on much,but I never doubted your sincerity after the one stupid diatribe I launched at you.It wasn’t very decent of me,but I was just really pissed off that day.
    It’s a good idea to withdraw from something that sounds like it’s giving you potential health problems.
    I’m one of those people who can’t abide an easy day(I haven’t had that many)-I kind of like being attacked and challenged,but I realize there is a lot of cheap talk being shopped around.

  4. I agree with everything the other respondents say.
    I will miss your intellectual rigor. your insight into issues surrounding social justice and your enthusiastic pursuit of truth and honesty.
    Take care.

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