That is one of the old Korean sayings that more I see it seems true. Attaining knowledge does not only make you enlighted or smart it makes you suffer as well.
You might wonder where I'm trying to go with this. I'm not saying we should stay ignorant or thick, but just that in knowing there is the consequences of being depressed.. Let me elaborate.
I believe that most people consciously or unconsciously block out large portion of information out of their systems. Although we have the general idea about the starving children in Africa or South America, or the exploited worker in Pakistan, we do not go into detail about these issues, as if the fact ceases to exsist when we don't think about them. Of course there are other issues such as how the world is run.
The problem is what can we do even if we know about these issues? We are almost helpless. And the issues are abundant, the corruption in politics and links with capital, the environment issues, human rights issues, global distribution issues, trade, workers right as well as things connected. Such as have you ever thought of why Goldman Sacks makes so much money, where all they do is gamble their money in so called "investments"?
I myself thought I chose social policy in my way to tackle maybe one of the billion problems existing in the world. However, the more I get into the studies, I feel like I am parting more from it day by day. What am I exactly doing and is this helping people or the world in any way? I don't think so.. Should I change my dissertation topic so that it will deal with real life issues? and could I really choose a topic that can make a difference and Can I really make a difference?
It is hard to say especially due to the fact that academia is not the best arena to be in to per se change the world. Although we can change it indirectly many of the works done in academia is still far from reality.
Every time I get information about the realities of the world, I feel extremely depressed to face the fact that the world is not this happy ending place. So what can you do? One way is to be consumed in other things such as the little enjoyments and entertainment which is thrown at our faces every day by media and the sort, don't worry it doesn't take long to forget everything and concentrate more on what you want and what you don't have "yet!".
Also the other thing is being consumed in everyday life and everyday issues, such as taking the kids to school, working, conflicts with your wife, husband, boss, friends, or the conflicts which you have with yourself on whether you should have the salade or sandwich for lunch. See these are the more crucial questions in life.
I will elaborate further on this later.... to be continued?