How Come We Don't Know This Stuff?

by DavalosMcCormack on July 31, 2008

Think about this. If parents knew all the hassles they were going to experience before they had kids would they still have them? If women heard about the round ligament pain during pregnancy, and the stretch marks and the permanently poochy belly after delivery would they still want to get pregnant?

If parents knew that it was going to cost them between $137,000 and $240,000 to raise a kid just till they were 17 – and that doesn’t even take into account college tuition – would they have them? Ignorance isn’t just bliss. It’s basic survival!

And it’s not just kids. It’s pretty much everything we do. Would we do it if we knew how much it was going to cost us, not just in terms of dollars, but in everything else from time spent doing things we don’t want to do, to putting up with people we dislike.

The truth is most of the information we need to know about anything and everything we do is already out there. We just don’t bother to check it out.

For instance, all those things that happen in pregnancy are covered in books and articles. Most of us either don’t want to know or for some reason our brains are not capable of truly understanding them till they actually happen.

Pain for example. The brain is brilliant at erasing the specific feeling of it. Mothers remember giving birth was really, really, intensely, horribly, screamingly painful. But only theoretically. Because if they really remembered the world would be full of one baby families.
But there are other things that we really don’t have any excuse for. We should know, for instance, that if we eat a Big Mac we are consuming 540 calories, which is 28% of the recommended amount of calories for the day. It’s also almost 50% of the daily recommended fat we should consume. We should know that, but how many of us do? The information is there if we want to find it but most of us just can’t be bothered to look. Mostly because we don’t want to know the answer.

We should know that driving in a car without a seat belt is not only illegal it’s also really quite stupid. Yet more than 60% of the people who die in auto accidents are not wearing seat belts. If 90% of Americans wore seat belts then we would save 5,500 lives a year, and prevent more than 130,000 people being seriously injured. It’s a simple thing to do, we should know it, but somehow we don’t.

I suppose the truth is we turn a blind eye to things we don’t want to know. In the case of being a parent it’s not about the money! We focus on the positive, on the joys of having a child, seeing them grow, learning from them, nurturing and loving them. Not to mention seeing the world as a wondrous place through their eyes.
In other matters it’s turning a blind eye because we don’t want to deny ourselves pleasures like fatty food or sitting in a car without a belt on. One is about life. The other about death.

I think I know which option I would prefer.

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