One of the interesting side effects of living overseas is that I’m for the most part removed from current events and news. At first this was hard for me to adjust to. One thing we have readily available in America is information. We have access to pretty much anything we want to know, be it the weather or how to get from point A to B. As an American it’s a really unsettling feeling not having access to information anymore. We feel kind of stranded.
It’s been a couple years now and I’m really starting to feel a little differently about it. I’m starting to feel a sense of freedom. This is something that gained clarity for me when a small group of Americans came to visit recently. They updated us on all the latest news. It was interesting. I made the offhanded comment that I really have no clue about what was happening in the states. One person from the group said they really admired that, that to them it seemed a purer way to live. I kind of took that to heart. what an insightful comment. I can’t say I disagree. It reminds me of a philosophy, an axiom that I’ve held onto over the years and have applied to several areas of my life: “ignorance is bliss”. This little idea has been a recurrent theme in my life for quite some time. I’m seeing the truth in it now more than ever.
The basic idea is that sometimes we’re better off for NOT knowing, or not seeing, or not doing something. Sometimes being in the dark has it’s benefits. I’m not saying we should run away from things. I’m not saying be stupid I’m only suggesting that sometimes we’re better off not knowing everything.
I think politics is a good example of what I mean. Political season is right around the corner and people are starting to think about elections again. I love the fact that over here I’m completely removed from that whole scene. I love the fact that I don’t know much or anything about the upcoming candidates. I haven’t seen the tv ads, I haven’t watched the news, I haven’t listened to the commentators or heard everyone’s opinion. I just simply don’t have access to it. But it’s great! I’m not complaining at all! On the contrary this is giving me the complete freedom to make up my own mind about the candidates. I’m not influenced by anything. What a wonderful feeling it is! It’s so freeing- the freedom to make up my own mind. It’s no longer a complicated or divisive thing. I feel so often politics is such a personal and heated subject. Oftentimes there’s so much slander and misinformation it’s nearly impossible to know what’s true. It’s even harder to have a productive open-minded conversation about it. Being free to make up my own mind is a rare opportunity that I’m enjoying.
I think this also applies to television. I rarely watch tv in the states, it’s virtually nil here. Matthew 8:22 says “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light.” So much of what is seen on tv is junk. I’m better off not seeing it.
In a world that places great value on “knowing”, on having all the information, on being up to date with the latest trends and gossip, I argue the opposite. Sometimes it’s so refreshing to be removed from the deluge of information and media. I’m thankful that living overseas has afforded me the opportunity to experience this.