What is Ignorance?
What is Ignorance? Am I ignorant? Are you ignorant? Or is everyone else ignorant?
I am Ignorant
According to Merriam-Webster’s, ignorance is defined as;
1. a) Having no knowledge or education
b) Having no knowledge or understanding of a certain thing.
2. Not informed : UNAWARE
3. Resulting from or showing lack of knowledge
Well then, I guess that makes me ignorant. At certain times. I cannot be the subject matter expert of everything, every time. Learning from others, hearing other people’s words, feeling other people’s emotions, seeing other people’s actions and gestures, and finally tasting the bitters and the sweets of other people’s words is all part of reaching understanding. I believe with understanding comes the intimate partner of acceptance.
Are you Ignorant?
Have you ever been having a conversation, it is a great conversation and you are getting so excited to share your point of view or opinion that you stop listening. Instead you go inward, refraining your words in your mind so that when you speak it will be perfect? I know I have. Something that I have changed in the conversation etiquette. I no longer listen to reply, I listen to understand. What I have found by not replying and instead listening, the impact of my thoughts when added to the conversation, have a greater impact.
There is an old saying my Grandma used to share with me, it goes like this;
Wise Old Owl
A wise old owl lived in an oak,
The more he heard, the less he spoke
The less he spoke, the more he heard,
Now, wasn’t he a wise old bird?
My Grandma was an active listener. When I was a young child, I thought her lack of responses was because it took too much energy to respond to all the information and conversations that were going on around her. I understand now, that she was listening to understand, not to reply.
Or is everyone else ignorant?
The concern about always listening is that maybe no one will ever hear your great perspective or opinions or even worse, the conversation will become one-sided. Here is a thought, have you heard (listened) to the current “buzz” concept that we are the average sum of our five closest people? What if you discovered, through your active “Wise Old Owl Listening (WOOL), that certain people never stopped to breathe? That they never engaged you, to listen or at the very least share your opinion. Wouldn’t their actions effectively reveal themselves as a negative impact to your personal math solution average of your closest friends? Perhaps the “real” reality is that even when you do interrupt them to share your pearls of wisdom, they don’t really listen to you anyway. So what is the point? You just feel better because you have had verbal vomit, removing your need to reply. I challenge you to pull the “WOOL” over the conversation and see where the journey takes you.
What do I know? Remember, I am ignorant.
What I love about recognizing that I am a student of life, is the constant learning becomes food/replenishment for my soul/spirit. I have found a greater level of understanding, I see acceptance as the vitamins of the human soul/spirit. Replenishing the needed energy that helps keep us balanced and more open to the ever-changing world around us. I try and take that vitamin daily.