Ignorance Breeds More Ignorance
In reality, everyone is ignorant. We’re just not ignorant to the same degree, nor do we all recognize it to the same degree. Ignorance indicates a lack of knowledge or experience. It’s precisely this lack of knowledge that causes the ignorant to be vehement and suspicious, to the point where they can become enemies of people who have different experiences or knowledge.
Wise people, on the other hand, know that much of their virtue is in the awareness of their ignorance, like Socrates. This awareness allows them to see the reality of how finite we are among the infinity that surrounds us, and reconciles them with their true nature. These virtuous people stay away from rivalry, which makes it rare for them to become enemies, or friends who are nevertheless affected by greed and excessive desire.
People who ignore their own limitations to knowledge are blinded by their own vision, making it impossible to communicate assertively with them. Everything that doesn’t fit within their patterns of acceptability is a reason for conflict, which can be solved in any way except by them conceding.
Wise people seek wisdom; fools think they’ve already found it.
Ignorant people presume they know everything
Ignorance makes people bold enough to assume they know everything. This kind of know-it-all personality can be explained by the Dunning-Kruger effect, which is a form of erroneous self-perception. It refers to people who tend to overestimate how much they know, whether it’s the amount of knowledge they presume to have, or the certainty with which they conflate their personal opinions with irrefutable facts.
This kind of false self-perception was discovered by professors David Dunning and Justin Kruger of Cornell University in 1999. Both researchers began by analyzing studies that suggested that ignorance gives people more confidence than knowledge. They specifically referenced activities like driving, chess, and sports.
Ignoring our own ignorance is the origin of many disagreements. People don’t make enemies for no reason. One reason this might occur is if someone feels attacked or discredited, which is a product of their belief in their own almightiness.
If you are asked, “what is death?”
Respond with, “true death is ignorance.”
How many dead there are among us!
Being aware of your ignorance gives you the gift of curiosity
Part of wisdom is knowing what you don’t know, opening the door, and finding the motivation to learn about it. In this sense, humility goes hand-in-hand with wisdom. We have to be less ashamed of confessing our ignorance, so that we can take advantage of more learning opportunities. This is something that children know how to do very well. They’re always asking what things are, what their purpose is, and how they work.
Most people don’t understand how the human body functions or know anything about the complicated biological and chemical processes that occur within it, but we judge people who publicly admit tho that. In cases like these, people’s ignorance about their ignorance shows. This occurs when nobody wants to look stupid, as if that were the worst thing that could happen.
Recognizing your own ignorance will give you the golden key to knowledge and wisdom. It allows you to understand the plasticity of human beings. Therefore, the next time someone labels you as ignorant, don’t feel offended. Instead, thank them for reminding you of that and encourage them to teach you more or invite them to learn with you.
Most people talk too much and know too little. If you want to stand out among the naive majority, cultivate your knowledge and take moments of silence so that you can listen and invite curiosity.