Is ignorance truly bliss?

Far too often people attempt to argue about concepts, ideas and incidents when they have no knowledge about the subject matter. It seems in a society where the answer to all of life’s questions can be found on the first page of google, everyone believes that they are an expert on anything and everything. Deciphering the inner workings of theories and hypothesis of life is a journey. Acquiring knowledge about any one topic takes time, effort and an open mind to explore various theories and different sides of the story. It is important to acknowledge those who know more about a specific topic than you rather then dismissing the ‘preposterous’ idea that someone else might know something that you don’t.

Some might argue that it is this very concept of not simply accepting what you are told that has pushed great intellectuals to develop complex theories, ideas and breakthroughs that have revolutionized the very world we live in. Disagreeing with what you are told and going out to do further research or questioning information you are given with intelligent questions and well thought provoking ideas, is vastly different to allowing yourself to drown in a pool of ignorance without so much as taking a breath of humility to delve deeper into the subject. Allow yourself to be exposed to other ideas. It is these very ‘great thinkers’ that have deconstructed the information they have been given then reconstructed them with the foundation of knowing the idea in its entirety.

This issue of not taking the time to understand a situation has caused conflict all over the world and despite our technological, medical and economic advances we allow our arrogance to fuel our ignorance. We have become so afraid of being wrong or asking for help from others that we would rather mindlessly fight wars which we ourselves don’t understand then go out and educate ourselves. One must however ask how? How does an entire nation fall in a pit of ignorance to what they are being subjected to? How do the leaders of our world keep us so blind to what they are doing that we start to believe that the only solution to our problems comes in the form of large military tanks and outrageous violence.

We have to thirst for the truth and find a middle ground between always wanting to be right and questioning what we are told as to obtain the truth. It is this subjective balance that we lack and it is those on the extreme sides of the scale that seem to have the largest contributions to the world we live in. The leaders of our world are the ones that have stood so firm in what they believe in that those who fear to question them follow mindlessly. It is a horrific thought that maybe we do live in a society of sheep. Flocks that would kill the innocent because of what they were taught as being “right”. Entire societies that will follow one man because of their confidence in what they are saying. We fear the truth and so we would rather live in a world where ignorance truly is bliss.

This blanket of comfort, this safety net of unknowing is what we as a society need to break out of. We must strike a balance between fighting everything we hear and accepting everything we don’t. As the world teeters on the edge of world-wide impending danger from Xenophobia in Africa to terrorism in America it is time we used the greatest weapon of all. Education. Not simply the education one might acquire from a school or university but education one can obtain from simply conversing with a group of diverse people, well versed individuals or even just reading a variety of materials or books.

Either way always my name is Tshepo Motaung. Remember to love life and all the people in it.


2 replies »

  1. “…allowed our arrogance to fuel our ignorance” and “This blanket of comfort, this safety net of unknowing is what we as a society need to break out of.” Really powerful statements, unfortunately “we” follow blindly because stepping outside of our comfortable bubbles means thinking about something other than ourselves. My husband and I have had conversations on how great the world would be if people actually took the time to just pay attention and learn whats going on in the world and ban together to do what our governments should be doing, which is whats right for the people. I really enjoyed reading this post.

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