Lately I have been thinking about the word ignorant and the almost taboo nature of using it. To be called ignorant seems like an insult (at least to me), and in describing my blog to someone I used the word ignorant to explain myself. I almost felt embarrassed saying it….so I decided to look it up.
According to dictionary.com, ignorance is
lacking in knowledge or training; unlearned: an ignorant man.
lacking knowledge or information as to a particular subject or fact: ignorant of quantum physics.
due to or showing lack of knowledge or training: an ignorant statement.
In understanding the definition I have determined that I should not be ashamed of being ignorant of certain subjects. There is a difference of someone who is ignorant in nature and those who simply are uninformed. My children are ignorant of many things, but that doesn’t change the way that I think or feel about them. They just simply have no life experience.
I grew up in a Christian home, and attended private school up until college. In no way am I embarrassed of this, my parents made the best decision and I appreciate how hard they worked for us. However, I do not believe I received the best education or the best preparation of life in the real world. I knew the same peers from 2nd grade to graduating high school, it was always an exciting event at school when new students would enroll, most of them from public schools who eventually left or got kicked out. I remember driving up to school very proud of my first car, an Infiniti Q45. The car was eventually named “Big Bertha” by my friends, and eventually I realized that she could not compare to my classmates cars. I was in a school surrounded of Hummer’s, Mercedes, Jeeps, and BMW’s. At the time I didn’t see a problem with it, but now this is a concept far from reality. I also only knew a handful of people that were of a different race. I believe now that this is big part of growth, and other cultures carry wisdom and insights that I can not do without.
When I left for college I was eager to go to a secular university and see what the world was about. This was a reality check, and at times a little scary. My husband also helped open my eyes to different people and perspective. I was introduced to people that I never thought I would know, and life circumstances that have stretched me. Sometimes I feel like my world is so upside down, and everything that I thought I knew has changed. It is good though. I am realizing there is more to life than just me and my world. There are people suffering. There are people starving. Our situation does not compare to other’s daily struggles. In high school I was out shopping with my friend, and a homeless man asked her, “Do you have any money?” She replied, “No, sorry I just spent it all shopping.” We laughed, and continued on- but later on that really stuck with me. I can not blind myself, and think that life is just bliss. It’s not.
Approaching ignorance in certain facts or subjects of life should not be discouraging or shameful. It is rewarding to: learn how a piece of machinery is built, to hear wisdom from older generations on raising my kids (or really any of their stories), to talk to a person from another country, and to expand my thinking and perspective.