Is There A Balance Between Ignorance And Knowing Too Much

AUDIO BLOG: (Transcript below for those who prefer to read)

Knowing too much can cause illnesses but, not bothering to know much can lead to problems too.  Is there a happy balance? 



Do you ever become so fed up with what’s going on with you or in your life that you don’t know what to do with yourself or the situation?

There’s about 30 different things going on in my life and within me right now that have me flustered, frustrated and feeling like crying.  I’m not exaggerating and in effect, I feel impotent in doing anything about them all without risking one thing or another.  In other words, it’s like that dream we’ve all had at some point or another where we are trying to run in mud.

I’m a worrier and more than that, I love to ask the question of “why?”  That often gets me into trouble because more often than not, most people will not get an answer or it will come in hindsight moments.  For me though, understanding reasonings behind things is truly a plus.  Knowledge is power or, so they say.

Hubby on the other hand, is quite content to have someone else do the worrying and rarely, if ever, needs the answers to the question of “why”.  He lives by the old adage that ignorance is bliss.

To some extent, this is true.  If you don’t know enough to be scared, worried, upset or that you should be fretting, you aren’t really doing any of those things.  It’s wonderful to live your life without the stress of asking the questions and simply going about your days, normally, without fuss or trying to do things in a different manner so that you can go on with your life.  Whatever he’s got, I’d love to get in a 6 pack.  Unfortunately, I’m not that way.  My brain isn’t wired for that type of thinking.  I wish it were.  I’d be a helluva lot happier for sure and enjoy life more.

The other question that runs through my mind is “what if?”  That gets me into a lot of trouble because even when I’m reassured that I’m doing ok, I keep that thought in the back of my mind and it sits there like a rock, weighing me down from enjoying things or life.

I’m not particularly intelligent.  I do ask a lot of questions though.  Not only do I drive myself insane but, I drive everyone else around me to the brink of insanity with this type of thinking.  Top all of this off with the idea that I’m empathetic and I seem to try to feel what others are feeling so that I can help them too and you’re looking at a recipe for a total basket case.

Hubby has learned that there’s benefit for him in me being this way even if he has to put up with a lot of outward thinking and talking from me.  He knows that he doesn’t have to worry about much because I will.  More than anything, I will tell him what to do, how to do it, when to do it and why he should do it. He may take time to make up his mind but, eventually, he’ll come to some conclusion.  It’s usually not within my time frame but, it’s within his and I guess that I can’t change that, can I?

Then again, we also have to remember that he’s a male and he’s going to have different thinking patterns than a female would.  That means that his hard wiring is going to be laid out differently than mine.  Part of that is because of his personality, which was formed by genetics, testosterone as well as his environment, growing up.  The other half to that equation is my own make-up, genetic make-up, gender as well as early life experiences and responsibilities.  We are individuals after all.

These factors make us all different in one way or another.  It also makes up our thinking patterns.  For the most part, I am at the far end of the spectrum for a lot of people and into the overkill department.  Others are more like Hubby who will be at the opposite end with a lot less stress.  Most people are somewhere in the middle category, though spread out from Hubby’s habits to mine but, stopping short of either end.

Is there a half-way mark that’s a comfortable place to be?  

I don’t mean to say that there aren’t people who are happy in their lives but, it’s to say that everyone has problems.  How we deal with them is a different story for each individual person.  Is it better to be more like Hubby who really only worries about something for a moment or two, never asks another question, assumes that “the bad” can’t or won’t happen and goes on to eat a bag of chips?  Is it better to be more like me, wanting to know everything that I can about a situation so that I can be better informed and perhaps, solve issues but, one who can’t eat, sleep or do much until/unless things are solved then sleep for a week and a half and eat a small grocery store?  Isn’t there a half way point?

Actually there is a half-way point and most people live in that zone or, at the least, I hope that they do.

Obviously, being overly aware of everything, wanting to know too much or, as a doctor I had once said, “you know just enough to get you into trouble but, not enough to get yourself out of it,” is likely the most profound statement anyone could have made.  We can know more than we should and get ourselves into trouble with asking too much.  However, asking nothing and assuming that all will work out fine if we remain ignorant about it, isn’t the way to go either.

Where’s the line?

While there is no perfect line as to what’s right and what’s the wrong way to live, we all can’t shut down our brains nor, can we wrack them, searching until we’ve come to the point of being a complete basket case and therefore, dysfunctional with fear.  However, it’s likely prudent to have some knowledge about any situation and know just enough to deal with a problem or issue in a sensible fashion.  Ignoring it isn’t the answer but, neither is driving ourselves to the point of wanting to know enough to control every facet of it.  It’s akin to wanting to be our own lawyer or doctor.  We have to have enough knowledge and take enough responsibility towards gaining that wisdom so that we can deal with the situation in an appropriate manner, ask intelligent questions and then, leave it in the hands of those who have far more knowledge than we do but, not so completely that we are sitting around, eating bags of chips, relying upon others to handle it all for us.

Too much information is a bad thing.

Most of us have Googled or done a search over a health issue.  The lists are endless of what our symptoms can mean or what it could be.  The lists start off at the most innocent and work their way up to and including death and cancer etc.. In other words, taking care of a hangnail has now become an overwhelming issue where we no longer have just a hangnail but, it’s reddened because we’ve tried to pick at it and it’s now become a sign of something more sinister.  Off to the doctor’s office we go, panicked and anxious, only to have the doc say, “it’s a hangnail…leave it alone” and clip it away.  Of course, the moment we utter something like, “but…what if it’s not just a hangnail” the doc will want to cover their rears and it becomes “patient driven testings” galore and perhaps, even a specialist’s visit where we’re more worked up than we were before we went in.  However, we caused that ourselves.  As one doc told me, “it’s patient driven”.

Too little information leaves us sitting ducks.  

How many of us will take our cars into a mechanic with a noise and we have no clue what that noise could possibly be.  When we start trying to use our own mouths to imitate the sound, the mechanic may start rubbing their palms together with glee, knowing that it’s a fan belt that has become loose and needs replacing but, they’ll tell the customer that it’s likely a huge job which will need an hour’s worth of diagnostics.  Those diagnostics encompass opening the hood of the car with it running, seeing which fan belt is loose and replacing it.  But, they’ll tack on another $100 for an hour’s diagnostic work up plus the time and cost of the labour and fan belt.

Had we gone in with some knowledge from YouTube or the net or even a neighbour who has some idea of cars and said, “I’m pretty sure that I need a fan belt replaced,” the mechanic would have thought twice about trying the old diagnostic trick that tacked on an extra $100 that we didn’t need to pay.  Had the mechanic been even more dishonest, he could have told us that he had to replace a Dohickey and a Thingamagig which ended up costing us an extra $1,000.00.  Try asking for he pieces back that he replaced.  It’s guaranteed that the garbage truck had just come and they no longer have those pieces.  What did we know?  We didn’t have any knowledge.

No one can know a little about everything.  

None of us can know a little about every situation.  That’s why we have educated, trained and experienced people out there.  The mechanic may not know how to re-wire his house and need an electrician to do the work.  Similarly, the doctor who could remove a brain tumour doesn’t know a thing about how to install a toilet.  It’s not to say that the mechanic should take a crash course in electrical work nor, is it telling us that the brain surgeon should become a plumber.  What is is saying is that we need to QUESTION enough that the expert, doing the work will recognize, “uh-oh…this one is going to question me so, I’d better be straight about things.”

Some questioning is good but, too much can lead us down the path of sleepless nights.  

In short, asking a few key questions whether we know something about things or not, is by far, less comfortable than believing someone else is going to take care of everything and do it properly, without harming us or our wallets while consuming that box of donuts in front of a television screen, laying on a couch.  However, going to the extents that I do, can lead to an illness in one way or another.  There’s a fine line between ignorance and bliss and, knowing too much to the point of sleepless nights, and anorexia type living.

From my little corner of life, there’s a middle ground between myself and Hubby.  While I have to learn to become more like him, he also has to learn to ask a few more questions, do a bit of research and become a little more aware of things that are happening.  At least that way, I can get a few more winks of sleep and he can cut down the chips and television watching.  Find a proper balance, please because as my aunt once said to me about my overly anxious uncle and his overly laid-back son.

“One has developed an ulcer through worry and the other will give you one because he’ll never move his rear to figure things out for himself.”  

How true!

Be Well.  Love and Light,

Have a great day or evening.

Published by ponderinglifetoo

I'm a wife, mother, artist, photographer and bookkeeper. I love writing out my thoughts in journals but, am finding my way to sharing these with others now.

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