Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Ignorance is bliss and stupid is as stupid does....

When did it become OK to be for peace and unity and understanding, yet be intolerant of opinions not aligned to your own? I see this often on my FB page. Almost with alarming frequency. I am often puzzled by this, as several of the perpetrators are genuinely nice, intelligent people. To me, acceptance and tolerance are universal. We don't get to be selectively kind. I feel that people, in general, have forgotten this. One cannot simply walk into Mor...er, cannot simply choose to only be kind or gracious or even moderately polite to those with whom they agree. Intelligent discourse doesn't mean calling people stupid or ignorant for their beliefs.

It would be naive of me to believe that ignorance doesn't exist. I know it's out there, but why be so arrogant as to believe that another person's ignorance is incurable or evil. News flash - ignorance is simply the state of being uninformed. It is neither good nor bad. So why do so many people feel it is evil?

I am ignorant of a great many things and admit so freely.

Why not, instead of being so irrationally hateful towards ignorance, try to teach the ignorant? Try to lead them out of ignorance.

This is not to say try to sway their opinion, but actually TEACH them something. Especially when it comes to something they or you believe in. Hip them to the knowledge you have. SHARE that knowledge. Let them come to an informed decision on the subject, regardless of whether you agree with it or not.

I also find that I'm not a fan of the word stupid being flung around so liberally. Is everyone suddenly Wile E. Coyote, super genius? (Probably not the best example, come to think of it.) Again, I see it online often...and it saddens me. So someone is not as well read or well spoken or well educated as you, does that give you the right to belittle them so? Honestly, why does it bother people so much?

Personally, I find this to be a grievous failing in our culture. Both of these words have become so pejorative...so hurtful.

I don't know, maybe I'm just over-sensitive, but I think it's wrong to look down on anyone.

At the end of the day, though, I am not going to change anyone's thinking on this. People will go on and do what they will. By the same token, I don't have to like it or participate.

Please don't misunderstand, I am not innocent. I've railed against people's 'ignorance' and 'stupidity' on occasion...but as I grow older I find that I tire of the lack of simple human kindness this espouses, and am trying to change my ways...

Basically, to paraphrase Kate Bush, I try to be kind to people's mistakes...


  1. Thank you. This is something that bothers me as well, and you said it better than I could have.

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  3. You are most welcome, sir, though i suspect that you might have been able to say it just as well. :)

  4. Loved this, all of it.

    Stupid is a bad word in our house and is not thrown around, though I'm liberal when it comes to other "bad words", because words are only what you do with them. Anyhow, getting off-topic here in your comments, but just wanted to say I love that you are writing. Thank you.