Ignorance is Bliss

February 26, 2012
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I remember sitting in the hot sun, digging my small chubby hands into the soft white sand. Piling that sand into tall crooked lumps and declaring them my castle, only to have the sparkling surf come up and wash all my hard work away. I didn’t care about the surf or the sun. I just enjoyed the feeling of those tiny grains of sand slipping through my fingers.

I would sit and play all day in that sand, until my mother would come to rub greasy sun screen into my pink skin. How I hated sunscreen. I would rub and wipe at my skin and splash in the salt water to try and rid myself of its oily slime. Later, after the sun had set, I would lie withering in the dark from the burning pains across my beet red skin. After that experience I would forever tolerate sunscreen. I would lather layer upon layer, just to never have to endure such pain.

Now, when I vacation at tropical beach destinations, all I can think about is hookworm in that soft white sand, skin cancer from that sun, and a million other possible dangers lurking under the veil of a seemingly harmless appearance.

While vacationing in Barbados last May, I could not enjoy myself even though I was in absolute paradise. I would swim in the luke warm Caribbean waters, my face turned up towards the sun. For a moment I was able to close my eyes and just let the waves carry me. Then something would brush my toes, and I would jolt awake, my heart beating in my throat, and I would swim headlong for shore. Visions of sharp flashing teeth, and long, black whip-like stingers flashed before my eyes. It was probably only a small innocent fish, but I was not going to take any risks.

Vacation destinations can be very dangerous, and getting to your holiday can be all the more treacherous. Public security is a major issue in modern society. Canadians are afraid to travel to Mexico, for fear of being shot. Planes are exploding; cruise ships are slipping into dark waters like a modern day Titanic. Even crossing the border can be a scary ordeal, full body scans, standing in lines in front of taser carrying security guards. It’s enough to cause vacationers to not want to travel at all.

One would think as the world evolves with new innovations in technology, the world too would develop into a safer place. It seems to be that some of today’s technologies are not compatible with nature.Consider, hotel chains built right on the beach. It might be nice to walk out of your hotel room and into the ocean, but I wouldn’t want to be straight in the line of fire if a tsunami hits!

Mother nature plays a huge role in today’s disasters. Weather warnings can only help so much when assisting people in getting out of harm’s way, and there is no way to stop an earthquake, or a hurricane. Also, most of our technologies are not capable of functioning in extreme weather conditions.

Human nature also has a part in disasters. We as humans have a tendency to do things that will benefit ourselves in a short term sense, not thinking of the future or others when making choices. We don’t consider all possibilities, we just evaluate the here and now. That is why cruise ships are built like skyscrapers, to fit as many people on one ship as possible, and to make as much money as possible.

Has the world really become more dangerous, or have we just now discovered all of life’s dangers? Maybe, it’s both. As technology and modern warfare develop, new discoveries are going to be made about the world we live in, and with that it might become more hazardous. Further more, technology has allowed for knowledge to spread more quickly and efficiently than ever before, allowing more people to be smarter and more aware. Ipod apps, and news feeds update every five minutes to tell of news happening all over the world.

Maybe it’s not that the world has become more dangerous, but we, as humans have become more aware, and cautious towards nature. We no longer have that bliss that comes with ignorance. We are no longer able to play, carefree, in that soft white sand, just to feel its tiny grains slip through our fingers.

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