What keeps us in the dark? Do we choose to stay uninformed because it seems safer or do we actively seek out flawed information to feed our own biases? Does being viewed as “right” matter more than actually being factually correct? I have many questions about this because I have seen the avalanche of scorn heaped upon the supposed “educated elite” by self-labeled conservatives or evangelicals and the snarky ridicule launched back in retaliation by those of a more liberal or progressive mindset.
I, myself have been insulted by family members who see me as “putting on airs” just because I have a college degree. I know they are lashing out in reaction to their own insecurities and not because of anything I have said. Not once have I said anything to them about this topic but it still doesn’t surprise me to have venom directed my way in the form of “I may not be college educated” passive-aggressive comments. I never had to say anything to trigger this response. It was bound to happen because I chose to take advantage of an opportunity that was offered to me but not them. Simple as that.
The words “ignorant” and “arrogant” are bandied about as the ultimate politically charged insults to throw during an argument that isn’t going as planned but I like to think of both as a temporary state. Everyone is ignorant or lacking knowledge or awareness in one way or another. There is not a single person on this grand green Earth that knows everything so let us all get past this point right now, shall we? The purpose of education is to fill in the gaps and improve our reasoning skills and worldview.
So, what makes the state of being uninformed attractive? If it is purposeful…what happened to make this route a reasonable one to take? Who or what shaped your views on higher education? Was is a religious, socio-economic or maybe even a political influence that acted as the guiding force? Or, was it just a simple lack of desire to learn new information? It’s okay to admit to feeling lazy! It’s also okay to consider that maybe learning about boring things isn’t for everyone and seeking out subjects that spark imagination might be a better option. The great thing about learning is that there is a little something for everyone. Gasp! EVERYONE???? Yes, everyone.
Choosing to stay unaware and unconnected both helps and hinders, that is a fact, so which side of the equation are you on? We may not be immediately hurt by the information we don’t know (ignorance is bliss) but eventually not knowing certain things can impact our future earning capacity and, more importantly, it can impact how we see the world around us or even our mental health. If our worldview is negative then odds are great that our ability to function positively within said world will be impacted negatively and, to some, the only way around this would be to isolate. Choosing to let fear act as the decision maker is sometimes easier than actually plodding forward and stepping outside of the comfort zone. After years of this, though, that zone gets smaller and smaller.
Sadly, the need to pay bills, access food and just generally be outside kind of prohibits the hermit lifestyle for me because I like being around others once in a while and would go stir crazy in the company of one. Experiencing everything the world around me has to offer, good or bad, is too tempting to turn down and…IT IS A FREE EDUCATION! FREE!!! For every shitty life event I have endured, 1,000 positive lessons have been born. And, being able to relay these life lessons to others not only helps me cope…it helps others feel less alone, less odd, less angry, less sad. We suffer, we take notice and do things differently moving forward and then, we LEARN. What is so bad about that?
Nothing is bad about that.
It is FEAR that prompts attacks on sense, sensibility, and empathy. Caring about and taking care of others doesn’t fill the bank accounts of the green addicted. And, THAT is what all of this push to keep people uneducated is about. If those in power can keep you fearful, if they can play to your insecurities, then you will not question their nasty words and deeds. Looking the other way should be a new resume “skill” apparently because I see a lot of folks who excel at that. “If I don’t see it myself or experience what you have then it doesn’t matter and deserves no attention!”
Yeah, keep telling yourself that Sunshine. Eventually, we all get kicked in the ass by those in “power”, or those wishing to obtain power. And, the best way to protect ourselves is to EDUCATE ourselves!!!!!!
Can’t say that enough. EDUCATE, CHECK FACTS, LEARN FROM OTHERS, STOP CHOOSING TO BE IGNORANT.
© 2018 L.A. Askew
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