I’ve thought about posting more on Facebook. I’ve toyed with the idea of sending more status updates into the cyberworld that attempt to capture how I’m feeling, how my body is doing, or what my current health status is. But in the end it always feels a bit contrived; it feels like I’m trying to evoke emotion from my virtual friends, and I just can’t bring myself to do it…and I honestly think we’re all the better for it. Adding to it, I also don’t want my identity to be utterly and completely wrapped up in my health status–though at times this feels like an impossible task–I am not my disease.
Even further, if I were to post constantly about my health the reality is that in some ways we’d all be better off. Because ignorance is bliss. Seriously. It is. Right? You’d treat me differently if you knew that I hadn’t been out of bed until ten minutes before I was supposed to meet you for dinner and that twenty minutes after we parted ways I was throwing up in my bathroom toilet. Things would feel different if while sipping coffee together you were aware that my no-no private areas were covered in a burning and infected rash that makes it difficult to walk or move. You’d see me a bit differently if I let you know the depth of my constipation, the severity of my headaches, or the discomfort that my skins heightened sensation brings. I could go on but I won’t…because that would defeat the whole point (and it would probably get even more awkward than it already has!).
The point is that it’d get really old. You might disagree with me because you’re a nice person, but the reality is that for ninety-five percent of you out there it would get really old if every time we sat down together or on every other Facebook posting you were hearing about my ailments. But it would be practically useful wouldn’t it? Isn’t there a level of honesty that’s lost when we’re together and you don’t know what I’m carrying?
Ignorance is bliss.
Ignorance might not only be bliss but it might also be necessary…and I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. Isn’t this how things generally exist? Isn’t it the reality that I don’t usually know the stuff that you’re carrying when we get together? At times you’ll share about your mental, spiritual, or emotional baggage that you’re carrying, but in general this stuff doesn’t come up and I’m also functioning in ignorance. Is it necessary? Must we live in ignorance in order to function effectively or are we settling for a lesser form of relationship when we do this?
Honestly I’m not writing this blog as an expert or as someone with answers to the questions that I’m raising. Rather I’m writing this as someone who is living in this mess along with you and is genuinely wondering if this measure of ignorance is avoidable, if it’s healthy, if it’s a necessary evil, if…I don’t know. What I do know is that I’m not going to post my constant ailments, I’m not going to lay out for you over coffee how many hours I did or didn’t sleep last night…well…not unless you ask…because unless you want to step out of the peaceful word of ignorance I’m not going to force it on you. But if you ask, if you want to step into that world I am glad to open myself up to you and I am more than willing to step into your world as well.*
So ignorance is bliss for certain–but knowledge just might be even better…right? Maybe?
* The irony, I guess, is that this requires me to ask you now doesn’t it! So…how are you? Hmm, I’m going to have to develop a better question than that. I guess next time we overlap at coffee or somewhere else I’ll try to practice…unless I happen to want to dwell in ignorance that day…or did we decide that ignorance is evil?