Today is Reflection Day, and as we Americans do (in numbers to embarrassing to list), we take this day to reflect upon the past and make decisions that will impact our future, and the future of generations to come.
It was morning time when I made my decision. I stepped out of my house and a crisp surge of air filled my lungs, snapping me to alertness. The sun shined brightly despite the temperature, sharing its abundance of vitamin D enriched optimism. I decided to drive around town and take in the day before I started my work. I wanted to linger in a positive feeling that I had done my part to help provide a decent and promised-filled life complete with fairness, equality, and happiness for everyone.
During my drive, my mind wandered to philosophical thoughts, and some old adages (as opposed to new adages) entered the equation that I was forming inside my brain. The first adage was “knowledge is power.”
I smiled, agreeing with this notion. I gave myself a mental pat on the back, knowing that I tried to use knowledge to make my decision today. It was a good and positive feeling that kept in line with my positive day. Then, the second adage crept into my head, knocking me off kilter.
“Ignorance is bliss.”
What was I to do? What did it mean?” Did the two statements, when put together, harbor a foreboding message? My day began to unravel.
Did the sentences contain a warning for me? Did I have to choose between power and blissfulness? Surely the two could co-exist, couldn’t they? But it’s impossible to be both knowledgeable and ignorant – isn’t it?
I have completed school, and yet I have a burning passion to learn new things every day – and I do. I can get all the information I need to know from books, my computer, and the evening news. And I can close a book, disconnect from the internet, and turn off the evening news when they start telling me about the latest fender-bender in Sri Lanka, or the commercials warn me that I will contract 10 diseases in the next 2 years, so I better ask my doctor for another pill. I can learn whatever else I need to know by LIVING.
Do I want to bury my head in the sand simply to be happy? No. That would be selfish, unfair to everyone I come across during the course of my life, and a waste of human potential. So what is the answer?
The answer is found in the task that we are all called upon to do: acquire the power of knowledge but use it in a blissful way. Steer clear of the trappings of negativity, as they only provide a false, empty bliss. Use knowledge that is love-focused and bliss shall follow.
This is my thought on this Reflection Day 2016. May all your knowledge be centered in love, and all your decisions be wise. And now I am off to seek more blissful knowledge.