Burden of Information

Trapped Under the Burden of Information

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The Burden of Information: The Open Book

Burden of Information

I have unwittingly placed the weight of the world on my shoulders. And I’m not positive I want it there.

In my blog and my books, I write about a whole lot of very personal topics. True, I do have lines I don’t cross, but for the most part, my life is out there for the world to know and do with as they please.

And I like it. I like being an open book to people around me. I like not having to hide behind a facade that life is a giant ball of cherries or that Israel is a perfect dreamland. It’s all out on the table. I feel honest and empowered.

The Burden of Information: Writing is Catharsis

Burden of Information

Not to mention the unbelievable catharsis! Writing is how I process my thoughts and feelings. If I can express myself in a clear, concise way, it means I’m talking about something on my mind. Often something that confuses or bothers me. By the time I’ve completed the writing process, I understand more than I did before.

More. That is not to say I have gained extensive wisdom or consider myself in any way an expert. It just means I’m the tiniest step closer to understanding something important to me. It means the world is ever so slightly clearer to me than it was yesterday.

And it feels good. It feels really good!

The Burden of Information: I’m Out There

And I like to think I talk about topics that are not always spoken about. And I’m honest in a way that is unexpected for many.

And it’s put me out there. It’s put me out there as someone who’s been through a lot. It’s put me out there as someone who is open about his feelings on several hard topics. And it’s put me out there as a minor “authority” on issues that I’ve faced and have come out of the fire standing tall, happy, confident, and proud.

And in the process, people reach out. I’m happy to be there for any and all of my friends. I want to be a voice that can help pull them up from the muck of their situation. And I certainly want to be a shoulder they can cry on.

But each time it chips away at my soul. Just a little bit.

The Burden of Information: Covered by the Muck of the World

Burden of Information

What happens when the muck of the world gets poured out all over you?

Two things. One, you are trapped under the burden of thousands of secrets. It is second nature for most of us to chat about all the crazy things we hear throughout the day. But that’s when the information is innocent. When what you know is extremely private and can potentially cause untold harm if in the wrong hands, then what you know weighs you down.

You are trapped beneath piles of painful tidbits of knowledge, and you don’t know if there’s any way to crawl out from under it.

The Burden of Information: The World is an Illusion

Burden of Information

In addition, you lack an innocent vision of the world. If only everything were as wonderful as it appeared on Facebook. Everyone took lovely trips to the beach. All your friends were giddy and smiling all the time. Each and every relationship was a glowing example of how people should treat one another.

We all know it’s not true. But we love the illusion that it is. We want to go from day to day not only believing that the world around is filled with great and happy people, treating each other kindly, and living peaceful and pleasureful lives. And our minds do whatever possible to preserve the illusion.

But when the complications of the world are all wide out in the open for you, there is no hiding behind the walls of Facebook. There is no pretending that things are rosy. No, the world is tainted and you are the farthest thing possible from enjoying the blissfulness of ignorance.

If only everything were as wonderful as it appeared on Facebook. Click To Tweet

The Burden of Information: Oppressive Curiosity

And despite being fully aware of the pain of knowing, there is one thing I cannot escape, no matter how hard I try:

Curiosity.

When something goes wrong or someone has an issue, I want to know everything I can about the situation. Even though history has shown me how uncomfortable this knowledge can be. And usually is!

The Burden of Information: The Need to Know Everything

I once had a friend who mysteriously lost his job. Fairly quickly after he started. I wanted to know what happened. But I didn’t ask and no one spoke about it. There just seemed to be this idea in the world that it was a topic no one was allowed to talk about.

And suddenly, someone told me the details. All the awful and gross details.

I could have stopped her. I could have told her I didn’t want to know. I could have done many things to prevent that information from entering my mind. But I didn’t. I didn’t do any of those things. I let her finish. I may have even asked questions and pulled out more information.

Immediately afterwards, I felt ill. I understood the pleasure of not knowing what had happened. And I understood the pain of gaining this forbidden knowledge. It wasn’t just the inability to perceive that friend the way I used to. And it wasn’t just the fact that I had more awareness of the muck that fills up this world.

I now possessed another burden to weigh me down. I had yet another bunch of knowledge hanging around in my skull that I neither wanted there, nor had any outlet to speak about.

The Burden of Information: Escaping the Pain of Curiosity

Burden of Information

And despite knowing full well how downright painful curiosity can be, it hasn’t lessened in the slightest.

I understand now that by putting myself out there, by putting my life on display for anyone to see, I am welcoming a certain amount of others’ lives into my own. I accept that. And to some extent, welcome it. Because I know how hard it is to bottle up one’s thoughts and feelings. I know how much we all need to release them out to the world, or at least just outside ourselves.

And if it has to be to someone, it’s OK if it’s me. I care. And your information is safe with me.

But at the same time, I hope it doesn’t pull me down too far. And I truly wish I could shed myself of the burden of curiosity.

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