Is ignorance bliss?
I don’t think I want to talk about this particular subject for too long, but you know with me, it’s hard to say how it’ll turn out.
To start, I’ve moved on from the shocking verbal attack on Tuesday night. Those vile, pathetic excuses for human beings only briefly accomplished what I can only assume is their attempt to belittle and frighten an innocent person who was unlucky enough to cross their path. Perhaps they knock little old ladies down and steel candy from babies – I don’t know. And I don’t care. They had their affect on me and it’s done. I’m over it and I survived – as I knew I would.
I’d like to thank everyone for their kind words and messages of concern, and for those of you who sent prayers. They are all very much appreciated and is a good reason for why I’ve already moved on from that ugly moment in my life. As one friend said, “People with dark hearts are blind.” And it’s very true. But it also leads me to my next question:
Is ignorance bliss?
You’ve all heard that expression before I’m sure. More and more in the age of the Internet, people are choosing to speak. To say something – anything – online whether it be in response to someone’s blog, a post for a news article, someone’s Tweet. Whatever. And here’s the rub: Maybe they shouldn’t.
Speak that is.
More and more I’ve finding myself completely in surprise at the ignorance of others out there in this cyber space. Don’t get me wrong. I love the internet. I love being able to talk to my family and friends with ease through Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media site. I love being able to watch videos of cats, acting reels of my actor friends and even stream my beloved Netflix. And to be able to talk to you fine people.
In some ways, the internet saved me. When I first split up with my ex-husband it was first time in my life – at age 40 – that I was living alone. Virtually alone in a town where I didn’t have really many friends so to speak and far away from my mom, family and my long-time friends. From home. So when I found myself alone, the internet (and tv) were my only real connections to the “world”. And i didn’t feel so alone as much.
What is a mystery to me, however, is how surprised I am at how people behave online. Those anonymous trolling people who will do anything to get arguments started so they can sit back and bask in the fury that follows. Or those that comment on every subject out there as if they have all the answers – and in some cases – the only answers. Those who get into the middle of debates on subjects they really have no business joining, whether it be political or sociological. And then there are those who no matter what the subject, try to steer the conversations over to their agenda. I see this a lot with blaming President Obama for everything that’s wrong in the U.S. Of course, he couldn’t possibly have inherited a ridiculous debt from the previous President…but I digress (and am not getting political here whatsoever!)…
But yes, freedom of speech and all that. I, for one, feel that just because you have the freedom to say something (anything), doesn’t mean you should. Most especially if what comes out of your mouth is complete and utter ignorance.
While the definition of “Ignorance is bliss” is:
They believe so inherently in what they are saying that they couldn’t possibly believe they could be wrong. And not only wrong, but so fucking wrong there isn’t even a better word to describe it. Oh there might be some that are close:
I’m in no way advocating that I’m, in any sense of the word, an angel. I’m far from perfect and I am wrong often. I’m the first to admit it. I’m also known to be the type of person to not forgive myself very quickly when I am wrong (and I’m working on that too). But I try with every fiber of my being to not profess to know everything about any one given subject or pretend that I do. I do have my opinions and when expressing them, I’m clear they are my opinions only but also I try not to express them without common sense and good judgment. While I’m an amazing actress, there is no getting around ignorance.
So what set this post in motion was this picture that’s circulating around the internet:
J.K. Rowling, the talented writer behind the Harry Potter series, apparently said this. Now it’s clear to me what she is saying here. That of all the things that humans can be (and are), is being FAT really the worse when there is so much worse in the world? I think not.
Now it’s certainly no one else’s business or say in how one person chooses to handle their weight. If someone chooses to remain overweight, that is their call. Their body; their decision. I applaud their acceptance of it, even if I don’t necessarily understand or believe it. But as you know, my choice is to not remain obese and to do something about it. Because I believe that I’m killing myself. And I want to live. And I want to enjoy things that I haven’t been able to enjoy or open the doors to other opportunities that haven’t been available to me because of my weight. And that’s how I feel about me.
But what struck me the most about this picture wasn’t even Ms. Rowling’s comment. Because what she said makes perfect sense to me. Just as my friend said that I mentioned above, people with dark hearts are blind. So no amount of anything I do or say is going to change someone’s mind who is like that. Like those two guys in the dark and pouring rain.
No, what struck me were the comments that people posted about the picture. Again, I’m struck that I am constantly surprised at the ignorance of others, yet I can’t understand how it is that I can still be surprised by anything anymore. Why am I surprised that two strangers verbally assaulted me for no reason? Why do I see articles about photo-shopping photo shoots of celebrities that make them look more waxy and unreal than in real life – where there is absolutely nothing wrong with them to begin with? Why any of these people feel the need to say anything if they can’t say anything nice?
Boggles. The. Mind.
So here are a few excerpts of some of the nearly 4000 comments posted about this picture:
Yes! Fat is the worst thing a human being would be if you end up vindictive, jealous, shallow, vain, boring, evil and cruel because of fat! Tragedy of self issues…
Not to me coz I’m skinny.
Sometimes being fat can cause those other traits to come out. Just saying.
Most fat people are jealous and mean though.
I know lots of fat people that are all of those nasty things! Lots!!
Doesn’t make sense, it’s like saying, “what’s better, taste or sound”, two completely different things.
No, but fat is less attractive naked than those other options!
And after this is all said and done, you know what I took away from this entire matter: People were so quick to jump in with their comments that they believe to be true and accurate, they missed the entire point to Ms. Rowling’s quote and actually just gave credence to exactly what she said. Instead of many of them saying, “You know what, she’s right? Being fat isn’t nearly as bad as those other things,” they instead showed their ignorance on the subject by being just those things: jealous, shallow, vain, evil and/or cruel.
And stupid. Oh so stupid.
Most even went so far as to get on the debate of us “fat” people taking money out of their pockets because of our excessive need for healthcare because of our weight or that we just need to stop eating and exercise more.
Both of which infuriate me but the latter more so. I can honestly say that if one more person says that to me, I can’t be held responsible for my actions. I’m obese. I’m not stupid. At least I don’t think I am. I’m well aware of what it will take to get healthy and lose weight. But the ignorance of that statement to just stop eating and exercise more sends me to the brink. As if that’s all there is to it. Admittedly, yes, that’s all there is to it. But how many people have said they’re going to do something only to realize that it was much easier to say it than to do it. My “just do it” mantra doesn’t last long enough to be effective.
Obviously if it was easy, there wouldn’t be an obesity problem in many places around the world.
So in some ways, perhaps ignorance is bliss. There appears to be a lot of blissful people out there. But not for the right reasons.
On the flip side, there were a few who “got it” and said so, so I have to give them some acknowledgment as well (I particularly love the last one):
It’s what’s inside that counts!!!
You just made me feel better about being overweight because I know I’m not the other things….
This quote certainly made me stop and think!
Maybe because it’s not the size of your body but the size of your heart!
As you say, fat people can get skinny, idiots are idiots forever!!!
But on a side note, I do want to say that while I am far from perfect in anything, including my writing, and I am not really the Grammar Nazi, I do really weep for the future of the world when I see how so many people “talk” in their posts. Perhaps it’s just being lazy or doing the “hip” thing these days which seems to be how short can we make words and still make them understood (I’m learning this with the 140 character limit on Twitter), but I find myself struggling to understand what people are saying sometimes by their posts. I won’t even mention the giant run-on sentences with absolutely NO punctuation.
I’ll end this now. So much for not talking extensively about this topic. This really should come as no surprise to any of you faithful readers by now. 🙂
Again, thank you for your continued support, especially on those days when I need a little extra to keep going. You make me want to do better. To keep going. To survive.
Blessings and much love to you all. I’m also sending prayers to some of you who need them right now.