“Knowledge is Power” and “Ignorance is Bliss”
I’ve only believed in one of these two statements. The former.
I have an appetite for information. I will think of a random question and drill down through 5-10 pages of information, just to get the full picture. And what I’ve found is the more I know about a subject, the better I understand it. And the better I understand a subject, the more confident I am in it. And the more confident I am in a subject, the more power and influence I can wield regarding that subject.
The more I know about engineering, the better engineer I can be. The more I know about parenting, the better parent I can be. The more I know about Scripture, the deeper my faith.
This holds true for nearly every subject and situation. Knowledge equals power.
But recent events have begun to make me think otherwise. That maybe this is not a universal truth.
Just this week, I found myself in a situation where I accidentally ran across some information. Important information regarding myself and others close to me.
To me, this information was going to be a source of power. I have facts and those facts need to be discussed.
But as I began to use my knowledge base of facts and information, my confidence and power quickly eroded. Instead of confidence, I felt fear. Instead of power, meekness.
And this made me take a hard look at how much power is gained from knowledge. Does it do me a disservice to actually know more?
In times and situations – yes.
Because knowledge is permanent. And it’s irrevocable.
My memory cannot forget what it has learned, like the eyes cannot toss aside what they have seen.
And following these recent events, I felt regret. Regret over what was seen and learned, knowing it could never be undone.
And in these situations, not knowing – living in a state of bliss and naivety – is certainly better than knowing.
And I found myself wishing I had never gained such knowledge, wishing my eyes could forget what they just saw.
But I saw it. And they’ll never forget.
And sometimes, bliss is so much better than power.