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Would You Rather

October 8, 2015

Ever played Would You Rather?  You know, would you rather be beautiful or smart?  Would you rather be hilariously funny or drop dead gorgeous?  Would you rather be exceedingly rich and sickly or poor and fabulously fit?  Would you rather be astonishingly talented or magnanimous enough to win the Nobel Peace Prize? Try this one: would you rather be kidnapped by terrorists, tortured and then have your head cut off with a dull blade or contract a deadly flesh-eating virus that slowly destroys first your limbs and then your organs?  You get the idea.


A dynamic game of Would You Rather is to the mind like a vigorous workout at the gym is to the body.  Teachers have used this technique forever to stimulate young minds to think in different directions and look at every side of a subject.  It’s an effective method.  My grandson’s eighth grade English teacher assigned an essay exploring the topic of Knowledge vs. Ignorance.  The perspective of a thirteen-year-old is fascinating.  Surprisingly, thirteen-year-old logic isn’t much different than the majority of the grown-up population.  In many cases it’s even more rational.


So many of us are oblivious to the issues around us.  No news is good news, right?  Knowledge can be agonizing.  Ignorance sometimes feels like the better choice.  Ignorance is bliss and all that.  Knowledge of the issues can raise your blood pressure, create feelings of anger and despair and even cause you to lose sleep.  Ignorance lets you bury your head in the sand and drift into La La Land.  The down side to that is that you get sand in your eyes, dirt in your mouth and run out of air.  That can be problematic for your future.  Clear vision and the ability to speak your mind can come in handy and La La can quickly turn into Law Law or Law Less, depending upon the circumstances.


On the other hand, Ignorance can sometimes be merciful.  I took my mother to lunch one day and the waitress asked if she would rather have soup or salad.  She considered that for a few long moments and then sweetly asked, “Now what are my choices again?”  In her state of dementia, ignorance was indeed a blessing.  Knowledge demands involvement.  Ignorance is devolvement. 


Ignorance can never countermand knowledge.  Sometimes I don’t want to look at my checking account or get on the scale because I don’t want to actually see those numbers.  Whether I do or not doesn’t change the facts.  (I’d rather be rich and thin.)


Personally, as long as I have the opportunity to process information, I’m going to have to go with knowledge over ignorance.  As painful as it is, I’m gonna play the would you rather game and try to react accordingly. 


Would you rather put yourself in harms way and save others or…

Would you rather have open borders or…

Would you rather have Hillary Clinton for President or…

Would you rather hire more police officers or…

Would you rather eat two-week old tuna salad or…


There are a lot of choices out there.  




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