Do We Really Need to Know?

by | May 29, 2006

From a recent newsletter from Cheri Huber:

We now have the ability to know everything that has gone wrong, every accident, tragedy, and heinous crime; every evidence or suspicion of lying, cheating, deceiving; all the raping, pillaging, and plundering from around the world 24 hours a day! And it’s presented by people who seem devoted to “all the worst, all the time.” This is supported, I’m guessing, by a belief that we need to know, that it is important for us to be informed.

She’s playing my song. In Confessions of an Info Junkie I talk about how easy it is to open the floodgates to more information than I can possibly use. It’s gotten better, and yet sometimes I see a book on a table in my office, and I wonder, “Now why on earth did I think I needed to buy that?”
Huber is talking about what may be even more destructive than believing we need more information on the things that interest us. She writes:

We pay a terrible price for that “need to know.” We turn our emotions over to people whose jobs depend on being able to successfully manipulate those emotions. We are fed an endless diet of anxiety and fear. We have daily opportunities to feel angry at the misdeeds of business leaders and politicians, frustrated at corruption and injustice, hopeless and despairing over our powerlessness. Then, just before we are ready to give up completely, there’s a product to buy that will make us feel good again, something for our flagging sex lives, something that will give us the youthful health and vitality we are missing, or failing that, medical and retirement plans (along with plenty of drugs) that will at least insure we will continue to stay alive and consume.

Or, notes Molly to Molly, maybe we reach for another book on spirituality, another motivational technique, another CD or tape to develop our consciousness. Hmmm….
Learn more about Cheri Huber at