Ignorance

I can’t remember the first time I heard the phrase; Ignorance is bliss. I do remember for a long time I didn’t understand exactly what it meant. When I did understand, I thought it was somewhat comical.  Images of people meandering about in this oftentimes dangerous world of ours happy as field larks, oblivious to what might befall them provided light-hearted relief to what many of us had to deal with in the real world. Now, at the age many consider to be elderly, I’ve come to realize that ignorance is a real and present danger.

I was reading an article in the paper this morning about the spread of the Delta variant of covid-19, and how it’s making headway in infecting considerable numbers of people in areas where there have been low numbers of vaccinations. One of those areas is the state in which I live, Arkansas. Far too many young people have chosen not to be vaccinated for God knows what reason. If they’re like a few young people I know, they probably think they’re impervious to the possibility of contracting covid-19. There are some people who are convinced that the vaccine is worse than the disease. Whenever I read about some people equating the covid-19 vaccines to experimentation the Nazis carried out on unsuspecting enemies of their state, I cringe to think just how ignorant that characterization sounds. I don’t know about you, but I fear this level of ignorance associated with a microscopic enemy that has taken the lives of almost 4,000,000 people globally as I write this piece.

For four years, ignorance in the United States has caused us to be in a state of division far worse than any time since the Civil War.  In 2016, ignorance of many people in our country made them vulnerable to the flimflam talk and self-serving arguments of a would-be politician, who probably had never read the Constitution. People who needed help from the federal government were moved to vote against their own best interest. All it took was for them to hear about enemies from within and without; you know brown folks from south of the boarder and other folks who don’t look like them living next door. When people are sinking lower on the socio-economic ladder, they need information to make good decisions about their lives, not incendiary speeches that get them emotionally agitated to the point their ignorance morphs into stupidity.

This may not be an example of just how dangerous ignorance is but consider how it might have led you down a prim rose path if you believed it. P.T. is known for coining the phrase, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Consider this: Rochester Institute of Technology professor Nicholas DiFonzo described in his 2008 book The Watercooler Effect, that Barnum’s biography could not verify this attribution at all. Rather, it was likely that a banker named David Hannum from Syracuse, New York who said it. I don’t like writing blogs much longer than 500 words, so I invite you to look it up in the Library of Google.

I’ve seen many people in my lifetime who have allowed their ignorance to cut their lives short. The doctor says do this and your health will improve. They choose to follow some path that makes no sense at all, and they expire far sooner than the God they serve wanted them to. Speaking of God, misinterpretations of ancient scriptures, in all world religions, have caused untold amounts of hatred and so-called holy wars than I care to go into.

I think ignorance is too often dangerous and should be feared more. What do you think?

I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.

10 thoughts on “Ignorance

  1. Linda Lee/Lady Quixote June 24, 2021 / 11:27 pm

    I am reminded of the first part of Hosea 4:6, which says ‘My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge’.

    Like

  2. Patti Couger June 25, 2021 / 2:35 pm

    Well said, my friend. There is a very concerning trend to capitalize on the uninformed. Being ignorant is a choice

    Like

  3. rangewriter June 26, 2021 / 8:54 pm

    Oh my. You hit several nails right on the head with this post. It is really beyond belief that so many people honestly BELIEVE in the lies spun from the former administration. I know some people supported him for their own monetary interests, but those whose lives and bank accounts that he drained are truly ignorant, and seem utterly blissful in their condition. I fear for the future. Things are a riot in my state. We have enough wingnut far right legislators that our entire education system is being upended. I’m glad I’m old. That’s the one thing I can thank that fat moneky for.

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    • oldandblessed June 26, 2021 / 10:05 pm

      I must admit, after I hit the publish button on this one, I started to feel that it was a bit strong. I don’t view ignorance as necessarily negative. None of us knows everything about everything. Heck, I’m ignorant about some things I shouldn’t be, especially when the information is there for my picking. The problem is when our ignorance is an ingredient for negative outcomes: We don’t know that we don’t know, and we proceed as if we do; Others recognize our lack of knowledge and prey to their own benefit.

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      • rangewriter June 27, 2021 / 8:18 pm

        You have a more generous heart than I do, for sure. I think there is a difference between simple lack of knowledge (perhaps from lack of exposure, education, or circumstances) and ignorance, which to me implies a sort of dogged belief in the supreme validity of one’s own interpretation w/o testing our conclusions or holding them up to light. Like you, I lack knowledge about a lot of things, but simply knowing and admitting that fact about myself compels me to double check what I think I know or assume. I think a lot of the stress and grief over the last couple of decades has involved people who are intrenched in their own clueless reality. And that situation has ramped up and been amplified during the last 5 years. As you say, bad outcomes result from not knowing what we don’t know, but proceeding as if we do know.

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      • oldandblessed June 27, 2021 / 9:41 pm

        Appreciate the comments. I always enjoy these brief cyber conversations.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. seekingdivineperspective July 14, 2021 / 8:12 pm

    The problem is, each side believes it’s the other side that is ignorant, stupid, lying, etc. And as long as the two sides keep flinging mud at one another, we can’t expect any improvement in the situation. Instead of exchanging insults, what if we were to sit down and share our perspectives? I believe we would all be amazed at how much we’ve missed in our own imperfect, prejudiced thinking. Both sides might come away more balanced, more enlightened, maybe even with more charitable feelings toward those with whom we disagree. Couldn’t hurt to try, especially since the us-vs-them approach is failing so miserably.

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  5. Chong Ciliento August 5, 2021 / 9:32 am

    This website definitely has all of the information I needed concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

    Like

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