Knowledge vs. wellbeing
“Human knowledge is one thing, human wellbeing another. There is no predetermined harmony between the two. The examined life may not be worth living.”
― John Gray, Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals
Wow — this is such a loaded quote. I mean, I understand the gist of it. From my experience the more knowledge I have, the more books I read, the more time I have to think things over, the more I observe closely — my outlook for the current political/social situation is becoming bleaker and bleaker. The same goes for the future. Of course, no one can predict what will happen in a year or two but all the signs point to more misery and trouble.
On the other hand, as they say — “ignorance is bliss”. And I see it whenever the thickest but publicly visible people, open their mouths, be it on the TV or the internet or in the media. They all seem so happy and proud of themselves, so lacking any self-awareness. All those fundamentalists — political, religious, social, science or anti-science. They all are so proud of their ignorance and very happy about it.
I believe that it is possible to find a middle ground between those two extremums. I will not give up on trying to acquire as much knowledge as possible, that is something that makes me happy — the acquiring part that is, the discovery of new things and new points of view. I will also not stop examining my life and my actions, I see how questioning myself and what I do, helped me as a person and in my growth — even though there were unpleasant things that I discovered about myself doing that. BUT — I also want to be happy, I don’t want to feel fear, anxiety, or nervousness, I want to feel well and content.
I think I am doing a pretty good job so far finding good a solution to this conundrum. The bleakness of political/social situations bothers me a lot but I try very hard to find positives in small things around me or simply in me.