When Ignorance Stops Being Forgivable

Blinding ignorance does mislead us. O! Wretched mortals, open your eyes!

~ Leonardo Da Vinci

I believe in education.  I also understand that not everyone has the means and opportunity to go to university.  That said, not everyone receives a decent education at university, or might not remember if they did.  However, everyone does have the ability to educate themselves.  It costs nothing to read a newspaper, magazine, or hell – a BOOK.

I believe that no matter what your moral standing is, or what your religious upbringing was, you have a responsibility to yourself to seek out differing beliefs and views, if nothing more than to try and understand the world around you better.

I believe everyone grew up either poor, middle-class, or well-off.  Your circumstances may have changed or stayed the same as you aged, but your impressionable time as a child has a great impact on how you view the economy and social economics as an adult.

What I do not agree with is framing your life around what you believe to be true in your sheltered existence, and attacking others who experience things differently than you.  

I have a hard time reconciling the ongoing attack against the poverty-stricken in this country by those who align themselves with the 1%, stating things like “Why should those who earned their money be ashamed?”  The fact is, no one is shaming wealthy individuals.  What is being said is why do we as a country have such a high poverty rate, while a good number of those who are abundantly wealthy did not “earn their money,” but inherited it.  The thing is, it is typically those who never wanted for anything growing up (and who – even now – do not work), that have a real issue with the idea of helping the poor.

It isn’t hard to find out information about any subject these days.  A million years ago when I was a student, there was no internet.  I spent a lot of time in the library.  Many in my small town spent their time at the beach, the mall, or slutting it up in some guy’s trailer.  (Don’t get me wrong, I had my moments)  But in this day-and-age, you have the opportunity to Google something, to ask a question, to open a book.  Yet, with all the opportunities to educate ourselves, some still live in that small town and get their information spoon-fed to them from other individuals who report what they believe and believe what they report.

I joined Facebook 2 years ago.  It wasn’t that I wasn’t technically savvy or socially inept, I was prevented from participating in social networking because of my work.  Once I had a child and stopped working, I figured “why not?”  The past 2 years have been so stressful, primarily because of that damn social network.  People are so offensive, mean, cruel…and ignorant.  But like I said…there is no excuse for ignorance anymore.

If you believe all Muslims are terrorists, you are ignorant.  If you believe that all police officers are perfect angels, you are ignorant.  If you believe that Planned Parenthood kidnaps pregnant women to abort their fetus’ and sell them on the black market, you are ignorant.  If you believe that your political party is the only way to Christ, you are ignorant.  If you don’t know the definition of a word, and instead of looking it up, proclaim said word to be akin to Stalin-esque communism, you are ignorant.  Blindly walking through life, believing everything you’re told, not finding out the truth in anything, and not making any decisions for yourself is no way to live.

Today I un-friended one of my cousins on Facebook.  Not for family squabbles, but because of her continued battle-dress-ignorance and belligerent social attacks on anyone who believes differently from her.  Upon doing so, I was subjected to an hour of instant messages and text messages calling me immature.