Sunday, March 30, 2008

Knowledge or Ignorance?

Knowledge is power.

Ignorance is bliss.

I embrace each of these contrasting proverbs depending on the situation. For example, I like to be blissfully ignorant about the content of books and movies. When we first started watching movies on DVD with all the extras, my husband had this awful habit of watching the theater trailer (which used to be a prime DVD extra, I guess). I strenuously objected to this practice. I considered it a benefit of watching a movie on DVD months after the hype had died down that I didn't remember all the good parts that they gave away in the trailer. I like to go in fairly blind.

One exception is in screening movies for my kids. I do love getting power through knowledge by reading the thorough reviews posted at Plugged In, however even for a movie that is for my kids, I love the thrill of being surprised, so I just sort of skim it for objectionable material that we should avoid and then try to forget what I've read.

When eating high calorie foods, ignorance is most definitely bliss, but I do like the power of knowing which foods give me the best bang for the buck nutrition-wise (you can't go wrong with blueberries).

I love accessing the practical knowledge of others. I can't get enough of the personal hotel reviews on tripadvisor. The reviewers at amazon often convince me to buy a certain product or to avoid it.

When I travel, I gather as much information as I can about the places I might visit. When going to a new restaurant, if there's a menu online, I'll look at it and decide what I might like to eat.

As far as my kids go, I ascribe to only one philosophy--knowledge IS power. I want to know when my kids do something wrong at school so that I can correct it. I want to know their friends. I want to know about the books they read and the shows that they watch. Sometimes I wish that I could live in ignorance (or behave like some parents once they get the information--doggedly determined to discard truth and remove any of the child's personal responsibility), but I'll take the weight of knowledge in this case.

What do you choose for different areas of your life--blissful ignorance or powerful knowledge?


katrina said...

I'm mostly a "knowledge is power" girl. Knowing whether I'm having a boy or a girl? Yes. Occasionally reading (gasp!) the last page of a book in advance? Guilty. Telling my husband that I *need* to know his schedule next week, just because? Check.

Ignorance? Hmm... The high-calorie foods, for sure. The number on the scale too, most of the time. And whatever is lurking under the refrigerator and stove, because I'm one of those people who almost never moves large appliances to clean back there. I really just don't want to know. :)

Digging for Pearls said...

I could use your help. I am trying to survey as many women as possible to find out what ten struggles they face as a Christian woman. If you have a few minutes, I would love your input on my blog in regards to the ten struggles that Christian women face. Thank you!

Please pass this on to your friends as well.