Knowledge is Power…Ignorance is Bliss

As a young boy I was told I was just lucky. I preferred to think of it as I simply created a situation around me that was beneficial to my own self-preservation. The older I became, however, the more I realized that I was probably just being arrogant about it, and that there was a lot of luck involved. A lot more than I was comfortable admitting. While I won’t deny it’s around me, I don’t think I rely on luck as much any more.

Today I pride myself on certain things. One of them is being discerning. This is a skill grown from a good bit of experience, a degree of empathy, and the ability to apply critical analysis to most any engagement or situation. The recipe for how much of what ingredient varies, but it is always some combination of all three that makes up the dish called being discerning.

Everyone gains experience, they just don’t always learn from it or apply that experience to their arsenal of wisdom. I think people are born empaths. Many empaths learn to crush and bury that trait, since being one is fraught with it’s own dangers. Critical analysis is a skill many people could work on, they just choose not to. I really wished they would as well. Sure there are those that fall into the “You can’t fix stupid” Ron Whitism, but there are more people that I always believed could think more.

Now, however. I wonder. Who’s the fool. Bliss sounds amazingly wonderful and refreshing.

Excerpt from the Little Red Riding Hood song I Know Things Now in the Stephen Sondheim/James Lapine musical Into the Woods.

And I know things now,
Many valuable things,
That I hadn’t known before:
Do not put your faith
In a cape and a hood,
They will not protect you
The way that they should.
And take extra care with strangers,
Even flowers have their dangers.
And though scary is exciting,
Nice is different than good.
Now I know:
Don’t be scared.
Granny is right,
Just be prepared.
Isn’t it nice to know a lot!
And a little bit……not.

I would say most definitely so. Or maybe a lot of bit……not.


  1. Your belief that people are born empaths is very, very similar to the Buddhist notion that at their core, everyone has “Buddha Nature”. I, of course, meditate on this, look for it in action around me, etc. But I am beginning to doubt it very strongly. I don’t understand how such a purity could possibly exist at the heart of certain people.

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    1. I look at it as a seed. Everyone has the seed planted, but not everyone has fertile enough soil, nor the proper gardeners in their early life to help nurture and strengthen it to maturity. Some might have fertile soil, but such terrible gardeners that it dies. Other might not have the soil to sustain it no matter how great the gardeners in their lives tried to keep it alive. Of course, some encounter disasters that are just too overwhelming and rip up the plant of empathy that did grow.

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  2. I think empathy can be regrown. I haven’t always been as empathetic as I am now, but I worked on that. I found that when I forced myself to be less judgmental, my empathy roots sprouted. But it’s a difficult plant to grow, always being invaded by the weeds of judgment. (nice post, as always).

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  3. I think most people have it within them to feel empathy, to be empathetic in some circumstances, but to be empathic is a whole other deal. I believe empaths take on the emotions of other people, absorb them. I don’t think true empaths can control this taking on of feelings and energy, but there are things that they can and need to do, to protect themselves in certain situations. As always, I sense in you a hope; a hope for people, for humanity as a whole. You seem to wholly embrace your emphatic nature.

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      1. It can be incredibly painful and difficult for other people to understand. I totally get it. But, then there is the other side; this incredible love that you clearly have around you and within you. I hope this isn’t too over the line, but I feel that you and your wife have a very special love, a bond that is vital to your lives. It is beautiful. And, as an empath, you feel that love in ways not everyone does.

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