Archive for August 19th, 2010

A Cheerful Nature

There is one thing one has to have: either a soul that is cheerful by nature, or a soul made cheerful by work, love, art, and knowledge.

———Friedrich Nietzsche


Interesting quote.  I know that my life is made more cheerful from work, love and art. It’s the knowledge part that I find myself questioning.  Sometimes it feels that knowledge takes away cheerfulness, as thought the more we know the more dire the situation seems.  But I realize that I’m confusing knowledge with information.  Knowledge is taking information and having the ability to use and cope with it, to see how information fits into a larger framework.  A distinct difference there and one that most of us confuse. 

We’re bombarded with new information all the time, in an endless barrage of charts and numbers and words.  We are living in the world of information today, after all.  And after taking it all in feel as though we’ve obtained knowledge. 

 Information, yes.  Knowledge, no.

So, maybe Nietzsche is right after all.  Having true knowledge, an ability to cope with all this information in a coherent manner, would cheer me up. I guess I’ll keep trying to gain some.  I would so much more enjoy living in the world of knowledge than the world of information.

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