I apologize to anyone who reads my blog, but my family and I took a long vacation to the West. We travelled to Denver, and then to Cheyenne, WY, the Black Hills of South Dakota, Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, Devil’s Tower, The Little Bighorn Battlefield and then to Colorado for three days to visit an uncle in Fairplay.
It was a great trip. The children learned a lot, and we had a wonderful time camping, driving, visiting museums and all the rest. (Though the children got a little tired of the ‘junior ranger’ programs at the National Parks, with their required scavenger hunts).
Toward the end of the trip I realized that we had scarcely heard or seen any news. We followed the tragic story of the miners in Utah a little, and I said some prayers for them and their families. But on the whole, we didn’t know what was happening outside of our car, our hotel, our tent.
Now, I’m not making an argument for intentional ignorance, but Jan and I agreed that not hearing the news didn’t really change our lives much. We still cared for each other, still ate and drank, still had clothes on our backs. We had books to read and things to discuss. We had God watching over us. And short of economic, natural or military catastrophe, we weren’t any the less for not hearing the news. Besides, when we do hear the latest misery, what can we usually do about it? Nothing but worry, and that isn’t productive at all.
Maybe, in our frantic information age, we would all do well to take a break now and then. To stay off of the Internet; to leave off the television; to change the radio station when the news comes on. Maybe we should teach our children that they can get by without a daily dose of misery, pain and worry. They need to know that if they go a week or a month without the latest casualty counts from Iraq, terror warnings from Washington, guilt-inducing broadcasts over global warming or the most recent suggestion on how to eat only dirt in order to avoid heart disease.
Ignorance isn’t really bliss, I don’t suppose. But a break from the constant assault of daily news might leave us happier and healthier in the end.