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I feel like to some degree we all are, because isn’t it quite arrogant for someone to assume they know everything? … and if we are all in fact ignorant is that a bad thing?
If you were to put this question into very black and white terms then the answer would have to be no. No, it is not good to be ignorant. Are you crazy? Who wants to be known as ignorant?
This notion came about when a colleague of mine; LD said I needed to be careful as I could potentially come across as ignorant.
Wait let me tell you the full story! I was thinking out loud about doing a guest blog post; like a day in the life or perhaps an interview with someone who is trans or a drag queen and LD said I needed to be careful. I needed to research thoroughly on that topic area so I did not accidentally insult them. Which LD was right! The last thing I ever want to do is insult anyone – remember i am 90% a nervous wreck anyways as I said in ‘why I have a cinema phobia…’ post – so when I accidentally insult people that just makes me sweat so bad and tbh makes me angry.
And if I am being even more honest LD made me angry with that comment. I thought why is LD being so defensive? Why is LD accusing me of being ignorant? It was just a simple question.. god!
All these thoughts started buzzing around in my head and I could feel myself getting defensive and flustered. I brought up a time to LD’s attention that I see certain questions as people wanting to broaden their horizons and just being genuinely curious rather than rude; like when folk was where I am from originally/ethnically, I remember I encountered someone who HATED being asked this and was super hostile about that type of question and was angry at me for not being offended by it. I simply did understand that type of anger. I wanted to. But I did not get it.
I think I brought this up to LD to show how I was offended by LD comparing me to an ignorant person.
But then I got curious as to what ignorance actually meant. Before I looked it up and shared it with you guys (in my definition time, see above!) I always thought being ignorant just meant you didn’t understand correctly or at all; and the only way to NOT be ignorant is to ask questions. But it was being highlighted to me that the very act of asking questions can be in itself ignorant.
I was in a catch 22 situation with LD!
But I have not usually seen things in black and white notions but varying shades of grey in between the poler opposites that are always, somehow, side by side together.
In fact in most situations I try and see both sides of the story or both sides of the piece … do I always start off that way in every situation? Definitely not ahaha. I, like everyone, have an initial reaction or feeling about every situation and more often than not it changes about ten hundred times!
I know not everyone is the same and honestly sometimes even I am not that definitive either. The people that do have very black and white views on situations I half envy half worry about them. I envy their conviction and their assuredness but I also worry. They have potentially closed themselves off to a whole other perspective or a new insight that could broaden their own. I feel like we should constantly be growing and learning new skills, qualities, or anything really. But on the other side it is this conviction and confidence in themselves and their own belief that has paved the way for so many revolutionary people through out history that did not let the ‘norm’ or the completely and utterly wrong attitudes of society sway their own.
Ahaha I know what your thinking, why is she going around in circles for/against her own argument? Why is she saying it is ok yet not okay to be self assured?
The reason why I go back and forward is due to a word a previously discussed in ‘hindsight is a wonderful thing…’ ; sometimes you don’t know until its over whether your belief/opinion is ‘wrong’ or ‘right’ until the situation has developed.
Just think situations we clearly view now as wrong and bad now are still not that clear for others and were definitely not that way in history – (we all no what I am referencing here but to put it plainly; rascism and homophobia). It took the brave people to speak out and be honest about themselves and who they are, or/and it took people to re-assess how they were thinking or how others where thinking wasn’t right and challenged it.
Or to relate this tangent of thought back to the topic; to acknowledge their own ignorance. Are we all ignorant? In certain personal areas yes we are.
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You know the saying ‘ignorance is bliss’? That is such a cliche, but it is one for a damn reason! This is something I intensely believe in; a saying is a cliche or ‘cheesy’ because there is an uncomfortable truth in it that seems too ‘hollywood’ to be real. Too staged to be true. Although the older I get the less appreciative I am of the ‘cheesy’ stuff – not because I don’t believe in the acts of them but I do not believe in who is doing them! But that is a whole other blog post all together! (Sorry for this tangent!)
Being ignorant is never seen as a positive thing but I think it doesn’t necessary have to be seen as an entirely negative thing either.
We are all human and we can not possibly know or comprehend everything about everything. To say so or to do so is quite arrogant.
I think coming across as ignorant or acknowledging you may not fully understand situations is something people will hopefully become more comfortable with. I know this is something I will definitely need to work on! I have found that once I’ve started this blog I have become more reflective whilst I am in situations, like during the situation I am in I am taking a step back mentally and trying to assess why I am reacting the way I am and hoping I can then report back to you guys as honestly as I can.
If you do not know or fully understand a situation then, without meaning too, you will come across as ignorant. LD was right. That is most likely not your intention but if you are unaware of peoples backgrounds or trigger words in certain situations that it will happen. There is nothing you can do about it. But what both parties can do is try to be understanding and accepting of what is being said/what is trying to be understood. And that takes a true friendship and an incredibly honest and open minded person; both ways.
It takes an honest and open person to have the courage to ask these types of questions in a sincere and curious manner and it takes the same type of person to receive the question – and even though they find it offensive – help the other person understand how they are coming across and well… answer the questions if they can!
I’m very glad that LD brought this to my attention.
Even though it angered me at the time it did force me to re-address how I am with folk. I like to think I am very open minded. However, I’ve discovered that my quick temper and flustered-ness gets in the way of me learning things I may not like about myself. And re-addressing them!
This is just my opinion on it.
Please let me know if you agree or disagree. I am very curious about peoples thoughts on this. (But be kind please! I want constructive criticism, not an overt attack on my opinion!)
Thanks for reading my lovelies!