August 7    

Today's quotation:

Ignorance deprives people of freedom because they do not know what alternatives there are.  It is impossible to choose to do what one has never "heard of."

Ralph B. Perry

Today's Meditation:

I've been fighting ignorance my whole life long, both my own and that of other people.  In my own life, I don't like not knowing things, so I do my best to learn all that I can about almost everything.  I realize that what I know is less than one drop of water in an ocean relative to all there is to know, but I do what I can to minimize my ignorance.  As a teacher, I try my best to help other people work past their ignorance and embrace knowledge, to learn things that are important to them in their lives so they won't miss out on things they don't know about.

Many people view ignorance as willful, and while there is such a thing as willful ignorance-- choosing not to learn about a certain topic-- we often don't know about things because we don't know that we should know about them.  If I've never heard of something, then how do I know I want to learn about it?  This is why it's important always to stay alert and to pay attention to those things that are important to us in our lives, so that we can know more about things that we really do need to know about.

I don't want to be ignorant because if I am, my life is going to be much less rich, much less fulfilling.  I'm going to be able to help others much less when what I don't know is more than what I do know.  My ignorance is curable, but it does take some effort on my part to be aware of what I'm ignorant of, and then some more effort learning those things I need to know in order to overcome my ignorance.  There is much to learn and know on this planet, and while I'll never know it all, I can do my best not to be ignorant of many things.

One of the things that life requires of us if we're to make the most of it is constant learning, and after we've learned a lot, constant teaching.  I don't want to make silly mistakes and miss out on important things because I don't know about them, and I teach others what I can because I don't want them to miss out, either.  After all, I've lost much of my ignorance due to the teachings of others, so it's good to return the favor.

Questions to consider:

What do you see as some of the negative impacts of ignorance?

Why do so many people refuse to acknowledge their ignorance, or even show pride in it?

How might we help ourselves by working to diminish our ignorance?
For further thought:

The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy.  What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.

Richard Bach

more on ignorance



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