Before I delve into the main topic of this post, I must say it is by no means intended to be condescending. Mainly it’s because I’m grateful for my position of privilege, a position I wouldn’t have been in if my life circumstances had been different. So I’m writing this post from a position of humbleness and gratitude, and I’m writing it with love…
Having said that, I’ve learned a lot about ignorance as a mentality. I’ve learned that just because a person isn’t knowledgeable doesn’t mean they’re ignorant. I know it sounds like an oxymoron, but bear with me.
Ignorant people are those who are intolerant towards other people’s ideas and won’t admit that the little they know is little. They walk through life making it seem like their way of life is the only way to live and that every other person’s way is wrong. They also tend to be the noisiest people in the room since they’re more into talking than listening to others.
I’ve personally suffered from such people because instead of entering healthy debates, they end up misunderstanding what you say, making assumptions on their own misunderstandings, and then taking action on that misunderstanding — while verbally abusing you in the process.
So the dilemma you might find yourself in is this, do you enter into an endless, irrational debate with such people or do you pursue your peace of your mind and let them be, especially when you discover that their ignorance is a fundamental personality trait?
Because there are so many books in the world to read, and there are so many other interesting people in the world to talk to. Why waste time with people who insist on building walls around their minds and refusing to peek at what’s beyond?
I used to feel sad for kids in societies that don’t value education because they grow up listening raptly to such people without entertaining the possibility that maybe — just maybe — these people could be wrong. But then Trump happened. And people who supported him started to get emboldened. And you wonder if education is really the problem here.
And I repeat, while you may try and talk to such stubborn people…there are so many books in the world to read, and there are so many other interesting people in the world to talk to.
I guess the message that I would like to send myself first before anybody else is encapsulated in Albert Einstein’s quote, “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.”
In other words, learn to listen more than talk, and don’t be ignorant.
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Also, check out my short story collection, “All Bleeding Stops and Other Short Stories from the Kenyan Coast,” and the non-fiction book summarizing a lot of ideas in the personal development field if you want to change your life but don’t know where to start, “Mine your inner resources”.
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