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I'm With Stupid

Sometimes I wish I were just like George W. Bush. No, better still, I wish I were like his daughter, Jenna, who despite having been arrested twice before for underage drinking and/or possession of alcohol ... despite knowing that her father, as governor of Texas, signed legislation that mandates prison time for a third offense ... despite knowing that ALL THE WORLD IS WATCHING because she's the President's daughter ... refuses to relinquish her God-given right to buy alcohol with a fake ID.

Is this a neglected child's plaintive cry for help? Oh, please. She's just stupid.

And sometimes I wish I were just like her.

It's not that I wish I were stupid, per se. It's that I wish I could reap the benefits of being stupid. And there are benefits. You've heard the phrase, "ignorance is bliss," right? Well, I really think it is.

Consider this -- how much of our unhappiness comes from our capacity for higher thought? If you didn't know any better, would the things that you're unhappy about still matter? You can't miss what you never had, in other words. You can't mourn the loss of something (love, prestige, car keys) if you never had it to begin with.

And, if you never had it to begin with, you might be happier. You might be perfectly content with the things you do have, because you don't realize that there are things out there that are better. Hell, maybe being stupid takes away any concept of "better" in the first place.

Maybe being stupid is the ultimate method of living in the moment.

Of course, there's no way to really know. I'm a Thinker. I've always been a Thinker, and I'll always be a Thinker, despite the cognitive dissonance it often causes. I can't help it, this is me. It's as much a part of me as my brown eyes and my surgery scars. I can try to hide these things -- with sunglasses, or makeup -- but at the end of the day, when the cloaks are thrown off, there they are. I can try not to think, I can tell myself that thinking too much will Do No Good, but in the end ... I'll still do it.

For the most part, I'm fine with it. I'm good. It'll work. But sometimes I wonder if my intellect -- which gives life to the Thinking -- isn't making my life more difficult than it needs to be. Would I be happier, in total, if I were stupid, and therefore, not prone to thinking so much?

Riding shotgun with this is the fact that I really, really, REALLY hate taking the easy way out. I consider it a personal failure if I don't do "the right thing," even if it's the more difficult thing. And this, too, probably increases the amount of angst in my life.

A few weeks ago, I was having a conversation with someone and the following exchange occurred:

Me: But when have you known me to do what was easiest?
He: Absolutely never.

Sad, but true. I think that I used to be proud of this. I used to think I was somehow noble by sucking up and doing what had to be done. Even if it were hard and difficult and emotional. I obviously got something out of it, or I wouldn't have done it. I think, mostly, it made me feel good about myself.

Because like everyone else on the planet, I want to like myself. I want to be seen as a good person, and good people don't quit. That's what I equate the easy way with, you see. Quitting. Giving up. And I never wanted to be that person, so I never did. Even when I probably should have -- when the writing was not only on the wall, but in 50-foot neon letters -- I never did.

I don't think I was right.

I think, maybe, that there might be something beneficial in the easy way. Perhaps under certain circumstances, acquiescing is all right ... even noble. As I get older I look back and I think that I might have been happier, all this time, if I had learned to let go. Maybe it takes a certain level of maturity, which I never had, to accept that sometimes fighting for what you want is meaningless and counterproductive, and only leads to heartache and disappointment.

Is that fatalistic, or realistic?

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