Monday, July 18, 2011

Does Knowledge Really Mean Power?

I used to stand by the saying, “Knowledge is power.” I felt strongly about it, actually, I believed in being informed. I believed in telling my children things about how to protect themselves in certain situations and to be safety-conscious – I shared certain news stories with them.

In a way and in that context, I think I was right. But I’m learning that there are other areas in life where knowledge does not bring power. In fact, it can bring stress.

For example, I am one of those kinds of people that if I’m feeling unwell or having a medical issue, I can research and look things up and diagnose myself with 20 different things. I can worry about myself, stress, and stew over what I might have and what COULD happen. If I’d simply NOT look things up, listen to my body and go to the doctor when I know I should – then so many times unnecessary worries would not have happened. I’d have my answers and my peace of mind.

I watch the news a lot. Sometimes it just plain stresses me out. Knowing what crimes are committed and where – I think I’d live happier not knowing some of that stuff. That kind of knowledge isn’t always needed in my life. Yes, I want to know things to be safety-conscious, but there’s a fine line and balance that is needed in my life so that I don’t go to extremes and get to be a “worry-wart” or panic at every little thing.

Certain things in life are going to happen to us whether we want them to or not. Certain kinds of knowledge does indeed arm us and help us rise to a point where we can adequately protect or navigate certain things in life. Other kinds of knowledge simply scares. It creates fear and it hinders us. Sometimes we’d be better off not knowing it.

So I don’t live by the blatant “Knowledge is power” statement anymore. There are so many things and times where I think I would have felt more empowered had I NOT known something. Had I NOT stressed and stewed and grown concerned over something. Had I simply lived and trusted and believed in my God along the way.

We can create bubbles of worry where there need be none. We can get too intense, too protective and too jumpy over things. Sometimes we just need to be patient. Wait. Pray. And relax.  I’ve found that more often than not, my God-given instincts tell me when I need to take action. I listen to them and they are a good friend. But anything else that I listen to – information that “could” happen, things that “might” be going on, etc – those things need to be sifted for worthwhile info and then I need to throw the rest of the thoughts and info away lest they run away with my heart and mind in needless uproar.

The only thing that always brings me power in my life choices is God. He is the only One who truly always gives me peace of heart and mind. Anything else is just temporary and sporadic.

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