Ignorance & Bliss

A lot of our mistakes in general, I believe, are based on greed. It is perhaps because of abuse of our freedom of choice that we are spoiled babies. We often choose to ignore problems for the sake of bliss even when we know something is important. I remember when my mother, strong in her faith, prayed that God would either take her difficult situations away or make her ignorant of them. I admit that most of the time I find it easier on my conscience and my comfort to not dwell on the problems that personally affect me—what more for problems that do not directly affect me?

I find that the difficulty with having to teach people about pressing social and moral issues is that people just don’t want to care. My speaking at a high school event reflected that. Last weekend, I spoke to a big audience of high schoolers and their families about modesty and sexual purity after having been invited for the second time. Although I expected that high schoolers just wouldn’t get what I was going to say, I decided to give it another chance. I dropped everything I was doing, preparing for finals and finishing work deadlines, just to pour my heart out once more.

It was a lovely event, with the majority of people commenting on my outfit and only about three older women thanking me for the topic I spoke about. Mind you, that gym was half filled. The statistic is sad but true, and it goes to show that most of us would rather hear about happy trivial things than important things that make us uncomfortable—e.g., we watch movies to be entertained and be removed from reality. Before becoming an adult, I had always been the type to avoid confrontation anyway, especially when I was younger. How could I expect the young to understand the need to be involved in moral issues when most adults don’t even give a lick about these things, and neither did I in high school? Heck, some people even think that modesty is a clothing style and not a philosophical lifestyle to abide by.

The other day I read about the ever-growing global population problem from ecologist Garret Hardin’s essay “Tragedy of the Commons.” According to him, the population problem has no technical solution, because people have the unalienable right to pursue a life of happiness by being the sole determiner of the number of children they wish to have. By having untapped freedom to reproduce abundantly, we will end up having to fight for our finite resources in the future. Because of this, to choose to enjoy our right could mean taking away someone else’s equal right to our common resources. Anyway in one point in his essay, he basically said that there was no point to stir people’s conscience to limit the number of children they have. He said it was better to just create a law to get people not to do something. This is because people who respond to the appeal to change will limit themselves as requested, but those who don’t give a hoot will continue to populate the world with children who will think the same way as they. I see some truth in that, but of course, I can give people the benefit of the doubt that they can change despite their history. Thinking that people can’t change because their family background has always been of a certain disposition is frankly, to a fault, Darwinian. I went from having the personality type of INFJ/INTJ to INFP in just a couple of years (UPDATE: as of 4/2011, I am back to INFJ/ INTJ combo), and as you know, I used to be a riot for not dressing modestly. I believe in the human spirit, that we can change if we will ourselves to.

To stop myself from encouraging people about modesty and some other things I strongly believe in is subscribing to the idea that people can’t change. They might never change, or it might be a long and difficult process to, but I’ll always have to continue trying. Plainly speaking, it truly sucks to be ignored. This sort of thing reminds me that I am not promoting my blog for my personal gain but instead for a purpose worth fighting for.

Ignorance may be bliss, but it is not a very noble goal.
– Margaret Edson, Wit

16 thoughts on “Ignorance & Bliss

  1. Great post! And I’m a teenager listening to you! :)

    I have to confess that I’d love to stick my head in a hole (regarding all the economy and crisis) but I choose not to. It’s also a great reminder that Jesus IS coming back! I think sometimes we forget that.

    It can be very discouraging (with blogs) if you don’t get comments, you feel like your not getting through. But remeber why you started this blog in the first place, and cling to it. Your being a great example of modesty and integrity!
    Keep it up girl! You may not see results here on earth, but you’ll certainly see them in Heaven (I’m sure your crown is very “indie fashionista” looking *GRIN*)

    1. Natasha, truly! It’s not really literally the number of blog comments I get that is discouraging because I know most people who read a la Modest do not comment. Probably 1% do, but I am okay with that. I tend to be the same way with a lot of articles I read online. I don’t comment often, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like them.

      It’s mostly the number of people who don’t care about modesty and only care about the clothes I wear that disappoint me. I should probably just take it all as a compliment that people admire me at least for the clothes, but there’s obviously more to clothing that I promote than just style. Modesty is also not just about me… it should be eveyone’s.

  2. Wow, Rachel, what a thought-provoking post!! This is link a’ la mode material for sure, and hey, if it makes it around to “the list” the modesty message will spread! :-) I just want to encourage you, and remind you how important it is that you are championing modesty.
    Titus 2:3-7 challenges us “Older women…They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to…be self-controlled, pure. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching, show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.”

    Though you may feel that this message of modesty is met with apathy and falls on deaf ears, those of us that are “older” have a divine mandate to model the beauty and creativity of modesty. DON’T GIVE UP! Remember, you plant the seed and set the example. On our own, we could never consistently model modesty and purity, whether inside or out. It is the Holy Spirit who changes hearts and attitudes, and gives us the ability to change!

    I sure wish someone as cool as you ahd been around when I was a teenager. I was taught the modesty priniciple in my church, but it was presented in such as way that my peers and I equated modesty with frumpiness, dowdyness, and all around ugly clothes. In other words, we had all the cover-up, and none of the creative couture! Your modest yet creative, unique, lovely, stylish look is an encouragement to me as a 20-something, and an inspiration to your younger readers. Keep it up – we support you!

    1. Hi Rachael, thank you so much for your response! I don’t think I would submit this to the “list” just because I’m not really talking about fashion or style! It was really more for people who understand the need for modesty, but then again, I guess it’s worth a shot to see if they’ll accept it! Having the message of modesty spread is always a good thing.

      It was good to be reminded of that verse you sent. It implies that the responsibility over young women falls on us. When I get overwhelmed, I get tempted to ask the question of “is it even worth it?” If in fact the bible tells us to be the example, then that should be enough proof that it is. Even more, it is our duty.

      We do really need to be reminded that it’s not us who can really change people, but it is really hard to think that way when people reject you for it personally. It’s not like we’re speaking about this to make them feel bad or make us look good. We would’ve abandoned this mission if it that were the case because it’s clearly not making women feel good (for those who are apathetic) and it’s clearly not making us happy when people do reject us or modesty. It should be a very clear sign that what we speak of is something worth thinking about if there is no evil motive behind it.

      I sure wish that someone did come along in my life or in my husband’s life too when we were teens and young adults to rescue us from the follies of our youth. We did learn a lot from it as did you, but then again, we could’ve probably done fine without some regretful experiences (that could’ve been avoided).

      Thanks again for being so encouraging!

  3. I think the last quote sums it all up perfectly. People can change which is why there’s not slavery and a million other social problems and yah there are new ones, but we’re all a work in progress i think :)

  4. I love that you are doing this, Rachel. What a great service and yes a divine purpose for your life. Keep going…those working for good are outnumbered by those working for poor motives. Lots of us are on your side and grateful that you are speaking your truth. BTW what is INFJ etc?

    1. Hi Laura,

      INFJ is a personality type from Myers-Briggs. It’s one of the most scientifically accurate and prestigious personality type tests out there. You can find a short free version to take online or you can take the full paper version at testing sites. I took mine as a full version when I was in high school and then in college, and I had a slight change in my personality. When I was in HS, my personality type was the rarest INFJ, which only took about 1% of the entire population. I also was borderline INTJ, which was probably my meaner alter-ego! Around the time I got married, my personality changed to INFP, which is what I have now. I became more sensitive to people’s feelings I guess after I stopped becoming so self consumed… as like you when you talked about the change motherhood brings!

      You should try out the quick free version online, which is pretty much as accurate as the real thing. The analysis won’t be as detailed, but you can always look up your personality type on the internet once you know what you are. The are tons of sites out there that go over each type in detail.

      Here is a free test online: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp

      I took this again just now, and I got INTJ just like before. It’s still pretty accurate, but you might get one or two letters off. I’d consider taking a paid version somewhere.

  5. Hi! I think what you said has really helped my day become brighter in a way. A friend of mine read through my diary and it made me really really uncomfortable, and somehow what you are saying about situations has made me feel better. I dont know why or how, but thanks. :)

    1. Cassandra,

      I don’t know how either, but I’m glad this has made you somehow feel better! I would feel uncomfortable too if I were in your place, but I stopped writing in diaries a couple of years ago. Blogging has been sort of like my diary, and I try to be open with my thought life as much as possible, so that’s why I’ve stopped journaling in private. Maybe this can give you something to think about. I feel like it’s better to be open to people, and if you don’t have anything nice to say to them, then just don’t say it at all even in private or just turn your thoughts around. I still feel hurt by what some people have done or said in the past, but I think it would have been better if I had confronted them about it right away instead of harboring hate for a long period of time. It doesn’t feel good to keep secrets. I do like journaling for poetry or reflection, but I try not to talk bad about anyone or writing about things I might regret later.

  6. Dear Rachel. I love your blog and think you are wise and insightful. Keep up your hard work. A new topic that has been on my mind lately is how Prince William first took an interest in Kate after she wore that see-through lace dress. Really?? Again we have to be slapped in the face with less is more by the media? How far will women go now that every envelope has been pushed? We women go back to buttoned up dresses or will the run around naked? LOL. But seriously, what is the future of fashion. I’m curious and also frightened to see what happens.
    Thanks again Rachel. Love your blog and love your bright mind.

    1. Hi Lily! I actually didn’t know about the see-through dress. I have seen Kate showcased on some modesty blogs, so this was a real shock to me. I read somewhere that she wore it at a charity auction? I guess she didn’t realize she was also selling her body with an attire like that. It’s sad to think that because she was able to snag Mr. literal prince charming with that number, many girls might think that what she did was something to model after. I really hope that they don’t think that. Of course the quickest way to get a guy is to show off your body, but how long will that really matter in a relationship? Somebody else might show up with an even skimpier attire, and the guy might get bored with her as quickly as he took interest in her in the first place. Of course, no one can really say this for sure, but it tends to happen when a woman primarily attracts a guy through her sexuality. We shouldn’t try to do this to guys. Guys can’t help themselves. I do hope that their relationship will be a good and permanent one, though. I always hope for the best.

      Thanks for your comment! :)

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