Don’t get me wrong I’ve been “interested” in many things. I’ve wanted to learn about many historical events that didn’t end so well. I’m interested in the state of many things that occur in our world today.
But, until recently, I have been okay with just knowing that horrible, tragic things exist.
Until now I’ve been okay with just knowing that our big agricultural businesses (the ones that grow/produce the majority of the food we eat) literally destroy our environment.
I’ve been okay with just understanding intellectually that millions of people (including children) go hungry every day and die from starvation every day.
Knowing and intellectually understanding is one thing. But seeing the facts is quite another.
Reading a book about all the gory details of a thing brings the shear terror of it even closer to home. Furthermore, seeing the details on the big screen can really make your heart wrench.
What has brought about this line of thinking you ask?
Well a couple of things.
Last week my seven year old son came home after visiting the Blacks In Wax Museum in Baltimore. He went with my mother and his sister and he was slightly, shall is say, taken aback from the experience.
At seven years old he has learn about slavery. He has learned about famous Black civil rights activists like Martin Luther King. He even understood that in this country Black people were not treated so nicely in the not so distant (some may say present) “past.”
But he had never SEEN this all in action.
He had never seen slaves being shackled. He had never seen slaves being transported by boat in crowded and filthy conditions. He had never seen a slave being whipped or a slave woman having her unborn child literally cut from her stomach.
But he got to SEE it for the first time all made of wax at the museum.
Personally I thought that this might of have been a bit much for him to see at such a young age, but he didn’t seem to mind so much as he was “shocked” by the brutality of it all..
Like I said ignorance is bliss.
My son’s trip to the wax museum got me thinking about the things that I know about and intellectually understand to be true, but I turn a blind eye to them anyway.
For myself, I know that our modern farming practices destroy our environment. I have also known that most of the meat products sold in the USA are raised and slaughtered in horrible disgusting conditions, but it never really hit home until I saw the movie Fast Food Nation.
I could no longer keep gladly giving my money away to companies that I KNOW engage in practices that tear families apart, ruin the planet that my children will inherit in the future and destroy our quality of life in the present.
It is because of the that movie and those books that I have given more thought to how and where I sow my seed, so to speak and have changed much of my spending (and eating) behaviors.
Just this morning I was reading and came across some very disturbing numbers that made my eyes water.
(Ever notice the irony here, that we have BOTH childhood hunger and childhood obesity issues in this country?)
But that’s another post.
So I am in very much support of and believe in the importance of children being fed health meals often. I am well aware that this is a problem not just in one of riches countries in the world (the USA) but in many other developing countries as well.
But this morning these numbers jerked the tears from my eyes.
400 children PER HOUR die of starvation on our planet
30,000 people A DAY die of starvation on our planet
Knowing is one thing, but actually seeing the numbers in black and white is a whole different issue!
So what am I getting at here?
The point is WE KNOW. We all know the things in our world that damage us.
We know that smoking damages us personally.
We know that hoarding resources damages the people who have little resources to survive.
We know that eating processed food damages our bodies.
WE KNOW THESE THINGS!
But what keeps us from acting? What keeps us from doing the things that we know will be beneficial to our Selves?
Why does the smoker who fully intellectually understands the statistics of what smoking does, keep smoking?
Why does the obese man know that better diet and physical activity will make him healthier not do the very things that will give him more life?
Is it really that ignorance is bliss?
So here is a challenge for you this week.
Look at your life. Look at every domain of your life and notice the areas that are not serving you. Notice if you actually are aware of the solutions that will make those “problems” go away.
And if you are not ignorant of the solutions ask yourself if you are willing to be the solution.
For instance, if your physical health is the “problem” are you willing to BE healthy? That is to say are you willing to do the things that healthy people do?
If you know that our mass food production is killing the planet we call home are you willing to BE the change? That is to say are you willing to support businesses, programs and organizations that are good stewards of our planet and NOT support those that damage it?
You don’t have to have the title Environmentalist or Fitness Coach or Millionaire to affect change in our world.
Just because you are here, living and breathing, right now means that you can chose to be and do whatever you wish.
WHO DO YOU CHOOSE TO BE TODAY?
Because when it comes down to it, ignorance is NOT so blissful at all.