Willful Blindness

February 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

I listened to Margaret Heffernan‘s interview on Start The Week with fascination.

She explores the idea of ‘willful blindness’, where we ignore painful or frightening truths, subconsciously believing that denial can protect us. She argues that these delusions make us ever more vulnerable, and whatever suffering we choose to ignore continues unabated.

She describes how we innately long for the familiar, so that, for example, there are a disproportionate numbers of dentists whose names start with ‘D’. Or when told they share a birthday with Rasputin, people often start to see him in a better light, rather than the mad monk we usually think him to be.

One quote I liked particularly,

“Money blinds us to our relationship with each other, because it appears to give us the ultimate freedom of buying and selling. We live in an age where everything is measured by money, and we are blinded to the moral, ethical and social consequences of who we are, and what we owe to whom.”

And as a post-script. My name is Casper, and I call myself a Campaigner, Connector, Creator. Oh dear.

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