A Deadly Sin Called Ignorance
Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. – Martin Luther King Jr.
Growing up, I always enjoyed being driven around. I was always eager to wear my shoes and head to the door once I heard the jingling of the keys. In my adult life, I realized driving, especially in a place like Lagos state, where I grew up, was very hectic and annoying. Years ago, my mom and I needed to get to the airport to bid my sister farewell. We were both at different locations, though I was farther away from the airport. I informed my mom that I was about to head to the airport, and she left about the same time as I did. Prior to the commencement of my journey, I used Google Maps to determine the fastest route to get to my destination. The timing and directions were nearly accurate, I got to the airport in good time, while my mom and her driver arrived an hour later. I inquired to know why he did not look for the best route, and he simply told me the radio program (his traffic navigation aid) was playing music throughout the entire journey. With a surprised look, I asked to see his phone and he brought out a smart phone. He simply had no idea what and how Google Maps function.
It is one thing to be ignorant, it is another to accept that “Ignorance is bliss”. Most people believe that what you do not know cannot hurt you, but I beg to differ – what you do not know can and will hurt you. I know several people who have exhibited symptoms of the infamous corona virus and have refused to get tested. They genuinely believe that not testing is better than finding out they have the corona virus. But let us weigh the pros and cons of having such information.
Pros: They can get the adequate treatment they need and start feeling better; Cons: They never get proper diagnosis, never get the necessary treatment they need, they may or may not get better. Does the pro outweigh the con? Definitely!
Why do people fear knowledge so much? The term “Knowledge is power” is a reality. Having access to a lot of information can make or mar a person. It is important to focus on how to process and use information once it is within your reach. The keyword is FEAR. The reason most people tend to embrace ignorance is because they are afraid of what knowledge might do to them. It is difficult to predict what knowledge would bring along with it. But is that enough reason to pick a “safer space” and just enjoy not having knowledge? No!
We need to really ask questions and get information. Knowledge should be used as a shield rather than a weapon. Even the bible says, “An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” – Proverbs 18:15. Why should you search for knowledge?
- It builds you up.
- You can create new ideas that solve problems.
- Your level of self-awareness increases.
- You can strike a conversation on numerous subjects.
- You can distinguish wrong from right.
Paul is an example of a man who at some point in his life was ignorant. He admitted in 1 Timothy 1:13 that some of the things he did out of lack of knowledge were appalling. He had killed true disciples of Jesus, tortured the Church and beat the people called by the very God he was trying to worship.
It is time to admit that ignorance is one of the reasons the world is not at peace. American Nobel laureate in Physics David J. Gross once said that “many of the major problems in today’s world such as racism, bigotry, fanaticism of terror and threat to the environment are caused by the sheer ignorance of the people.” We must endeavor to quit being lazy and seek knowledge, for it will surely help us become better.