Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Ignorance of Bliss

The old saying is "Ignorance is bliss", but is it?

We go through life trying to be happy and fulfilled. However, in our quest to be "blissful", do we turn our backs to the true harsh realities of life? Over the last 11 months, I have slowed down and noticed things that I would have never taken time to notice before. Simple things - a bird singing, a squirrel hiding his acorns for the winter, the imperfection of a perfect falling snowflake. I have also learned how to watch people, see the hurt in their eyes, the joy in their smiles and the pain in their loneliness.

Bliss simply masks the ignorance of everyday life. I'm certain that in my travels in life, I had heard that babies die - but I didn't stop to give value to that idea. I was aware of SIDS - but it didn't affect me or anyone I knew so I chose to be ignorant about the subject and continue on my path of bliss. Sure the abstract thoughts were filed in my mind, but they were not real to me.

Are we - as humans - wired to be ignorant? In my opinion - No. God has equipped us with the ability to learn, teach and minister. The simple fact is that we choose to be ignorant about subjects that scare us - such as death, poverty, disease, abuse and the unknown. Very few people would intervene if they saw a starving man on the street, a woman dying of a contagious disease or a case of domestic violence across the street. Instead most would choose to be ignorant in their bliss.

Babies die. If you didn't know it before, know it now. Viruses, birth defects, cancer, SIDS, in utero cord accidents and for no known reasons - babies die. The families affected by the loss of a child - at any age - never quit hurting. The intensity lightens, the frequency of 'breakdowns' increases - but the ache in your soul never goes away.

I can remember saying to my mom a few weeks before AJ was born - referring to my Aunt and Uncle who's son was killed by a drunk driver a few weeks after we found out we were pregnant - I can't imagine their pain. I questioned how do they even get up in the morning knowing that Joe isn't here? I had no idea we would first hand share their pain just a few weeks later.

I miss being ignorant to life around me. I sometimes wish I could return to the world in which I didn't notice everything, think about everything and ache on a daily basis. I know that God doesn't intend for me to live my life ignorant - that is why He has given us this responsibility. His full intention is for us to come out of the ignorance of bliss and give something back to this world. Right now - giving back is simply continuing to breathe on a daily basis. But I believe that someday soon - giving back will take on a whole new meaning.


Tonya said...

Without even knowing it Amber, you are giving back. Opening yourself up to people you don't even know. Strangers finding your words and taking comfort in the fact that they are not alone. AJ is guiding you, God is giving you that opportunity. Ignorance is Bliss, I swim in it often, then reality knocks and we have to let her in. A "imperfect" balence it is.