Ignorance is the lack of knowledge or information. It is a plague of the psyche among our school, community, and we find this infection in every part of our lives. Our conversations, our thoughts, and our actions. A huge part of the problem with ignorance is that those who are ignorant are unaware. We are ignorant by nurture, not nature. Children are the most curious and open humans in the world, and by that argument, so were we once. But our nurture, our very childhood and development through adolescence, is what turns us into the ignorant and socially blind people we are.
It is perhaps the culture of America that has brought us into this comfortable state of believing and hearing what we wish. Nothing in our society demands the kind of understanding, analyzing, and compassion that we once had. We go through our days, not questioning what we are doing or why we are doing it. Assuming our teachers and administrators have everything under control. Assuming that our lives are not fragile, that we can do what we want, that the consequence of our actions will not actually be a consequence at all. Acting with the attitude of someone who sees themselves as the only person with reasonable beliefs or opinions.
It is not as though we are incapable of the kind of curiosity and open-mindedness that begets peace. True, there is a portion of our community and society that has began the outbreak of understanding and compassion. But ignorance is not a trait we recognize in ourselves easily.
Ignorance can often lead to stubbornness, which as a combination can be lethal to any attempts toward comprehension and understanding. Those who are ignorant will hear nothing but what suits them.
Over the course of history, willful ignorance has led to some of our greatest human societal tragedies. It led to the use of slavery everywhere, from the basis of an ignorant belief that there are humans that are lesser than others. Racism, which we are still emerging from, stems from the same basic belief of slavery. Which is discrimination based on a difference in belief, stereotype, or orientation.
We unconsciously build boxes around ourselves, we are taught to think in triangles, in rectangles, in neat circles. An odd, curvy shape comes across our way, and we refuse to figure out their dimensions. It is the refusal to see behind the actions and words of other people, countries and cultures that strengthens this willful refusal to learn.
It becomes something we have to start recognizing in ourselves. Ignorance can only be cured by curiosity, the desire to learn and gain information. Ignorance brings about false confidence, and the fall from an invisible pedestal is perhaps the hardest fall to get up from.
Everyone has the right to an educated opinion, a thought based on evidence. Our problem is that we do not realize that everyone can be just in their opinions. If you only take into account their point of view.