In our desperate wish to be seen as informed and intelligent, we are complicating our lives. Information is accessible today by so many mediums, radio, television, the internet, print and mobile applications. How could we not be smarter and more sophisticated than earlier generations? But sometimes, all this information makes me feel over-whelmed, not smarter. I’m going out on a limb admitting this, and I’m convinced that many people will not want to risk agreeing for fear of appearing ignorant. It reminds me of the story about the emperor’s new clothes.
Hans Christian Andersen’s story is about an emperor who pays a lot of money for some new magic clothes, which he’s told, “can only be seen by wise people” The clothes do not really exist, but the emperor does not admit he cannot see them, because that would mean he was not wise. Everyone else pretends to see the clothes too because, well, they don’t want to be seen as stupid either. It isn’t until a child shouts, “The emperor has no clothes on!” that the people realize how silly they’ve been.
Like the people in the fairy tale, we often agree to absurd ideas because we are afraid to appear ignorant. When will the child in us say enough is enough?