It has been said that, “Ignorance is bliss.” Have you ever stopped to think about what that means? Ignorance is defined as a lack of knowledge or information. Bliss is defined as perfect happiness and great joy. In other words, not knowing something leads to joy and happiness. Not really sure I agree with that statement. Ignorance leads to problems and a lack of progress or the destruction of progress. As Martin Luther King Jr. stated, “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
Ignorance can be as simple as choosing to remain uneducated, or choosing to know something and refusing to accept what you have learned. Both forms of ignorance will not lead to anything good, or should I say, it will never lead to bliss. Either way, ignorance is a choice. We can either choose to remain uneducated or ignore what we have learned.
Choosing to remain ignorant says a lot about one’s character. Ignorance is a sign of selfish ambition. Ignorance occurs when we have an agenda that we want to push, and we choose to ignore the issues that might occur just to see our agenda fulfilled. In reality, we might cause more harm than good by choosing to remain ignorant of the issues within our selfish agenda. Politics is a perfect example of this.
Ignorance can also occur when we choose to focus on gathering information from a biased source. It is our responsibility and duty to be well rounded in our knowledge and understanding of issues. When we choose to get our information from only one source that fits our bias, we decide to remain ignorant to information that might be more factual or truthful. Sadly, today’s media has made it near impossible to gather unbiased, factual information on most anything. This means we must be diligent in our research and learning to seek out multiple sources to get the most well rounded information.
What is more dangerous is when our ignorance leads others to remain ignorant. A leader’s responsibility is to help educate their team and be well versed in all aspects of their company or organization. They should be proactive in knowing potential issues and problems before they come to fruition. A leader must know all sides of a story, and never forget that there are three sides to every story: 1) Bias one, 2) Bias two, and 3) the TRUTH somewhere in the middle. It is a leader’s responsibility…no, it is everyone’s responsibility…to seek the truth in all situations. But how do we do that?
Ask questions and listen. The two activities that most people neglect to participate in and would rather jump to bias and ignorance. To ensure that our ignorance does not become our downfall, we must seek out truth through the act of asking questions and active listening. We must keep an open mind, be willing to grow and change, and most importantly, be okay with the potential of being wrong. On the other hand, we must also remember to remain humble and gracious when we might fall on the right side of truth. We must learn to guide others in truth rather than force them to accept it blindly; this leads to ignorance.
Ultimately, we must learn, grow, and choose to stay educated. Ignorance is a cancer that slowly kills progress and removes the progress that has already been made. Even though we are all biased one way or the other, we must seek information and knowledge unbiasedly. Be humble, be gracious, and keep an open mind. Ask questions and actively listen. When you have discovered what is true, guide others in accepting truth rather than forcing them to accept your truth. Do not allow your ignorance to be your downfall.
As always, stay humble and serve well!