The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance That I Can’t Ignore

The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance is the subtitle to Birdman, the movie. I got stuck on this in my brain for a while. Is ignorance a virtue? Virtues by definition are the ‘essence of our character.’ Can ignorance be counted to be of this ‘essence’? In the case of Birdman, it is about ignorance being bliss, or being stupid working out for the best in the given situation.  Can this be a true virtue?

I found this bit of information helpful as pertaining to Riggan Thompson, the character Michael Keaton plays:

“Intrinsic motivation gives you the drive to create out of pure, personal satisfaction, while extrinsic motivation aims to gain a positive evaluation or reward from the outside world. Since making something creative often means overcoming many hurdles, working hard and being persistent, intrinsic motivation is much more important when you want to create something that redefines the creative domain.”

In this piece (and book) by Wouter Boon, he describes the fact that by creating something new, does that alone make it relevant if there are no masses to appreciate it? Boon explains the process of how far must one go to please their creative self as opposed to pleasing the masses as something ‘new’ doesn’t have any masses.

So in essence, does Riggan create something for himself, or something to please the masses? He mistakenly does the opposite for both.

We all get stuck on this at some point in our lives. The idea of wtf are we doing here and what is our passion and why are we on this planet? Sometimes the milling over of this is all a big folly. I couldn’t agree more with Mark Manson in his article Screw Finding Your Passion. It’s all in the game. THAT’S the game. PLAYING IT. There are no losers and no winners. It’s the playing that matters.

So I got stuck on all of this while riding in the car. Here is the trail of my brainwave mapped out for you:

I want a change.
Should I dye my hair?
Do I find a new job?
I want a new life.
My life now isn’t so bad.
Maybe I’m never happy.
NO, maybe there’s nothing wrong with striving for more.
I would look good as a blonde.
Yeah, I want my hair chopped off and dyed blonde.
No, I don’t look good with short hair.
Maybe I don’t care anymore.
How does one really change your life?
(A song came on the radio to help.)
Song: (by 21 Pilots called ‘Stressed Out’ it states: Wish we could turn back time, to the good ol’ days,
When our momma sang us to sleep but now we’re stressed out.)
I think: Jeeze, this guy must be young, I wouldn’t turn back time THAT far. How far back would I go to make my life different now?
I would go back to high school.
Get better grades.
Get a scholarship.
Go to college.
Wait? Why do I always shoot for the bottom rung? Scholarship?
I want to go WAAAAY back and be born into a family with money.
Have my college paid for.
Have trips to France in my childhood of summers.
I go to law school.
I have a house.
Yeah, that’s it.
I practically change my DNA so I’m a different person who had made better choices.
So, if all this took place, and I had gone to law school, I’d be someone who’s been practicing law now for over twenty years.
I’d be in the same spot I’m in now.
I would want a change.
I would quit law and be searching just like I am now.
This blows.

So yes, ignorance is bliss. Don’t research too much. Do what you love. And not in the sense that that is ALL you do, or that you must love your JOB, or make what you LOVE your JOB. But you have to play. What is it you are already doing that makes you smile? Feel good? Who cares if it makes you money or is relevant to anyone else? THAT’S how you PLAY.  Read Mark’s article. Go collect bugs, who cares if it pays the rent.

Me? I’m going to spill my guts in this blog that 8 people read. I’m going to write my novel that I’m halfway through writing that is completely irrelevant on my hard drive and known to no one. I’m going to just keep doing stuff each day that sounds fun to me and quit checking my brain too much to see if it all matters.

It doesn’t.

: )



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