Shameful Ignorance vs. Shameless Ignorance


If those concerned with the integrity of knowledge would learn how to speak up while those who spew out ignorance without care would learn how to shut up the world would be a better place.

We are all ignorant of countless things which in itself isn't bad. It’s reality. There is far too much knowledge in the world to be absorbed by one human being through one perspective in one lifetime. That doesn't mean we shouldn't dedicate ourselves to a lifelong commitment to learning.

There are times in our lives where even the most cautious gives bad information. When the realization occurs of such an event our reactions determine who we are. Do we feel shame? Do we apologize and correct the mistake? Do we feel shame but lack the courage to set it right? Do we feel no shame? Do we deny and lie rather than admit to the error?

In business and government the people who speak up are almost always the ones who get promotions. But far too often it doesn't matter what they say, just the fact that they’re saying something is perceived as “leadership” and “ambition.” But what difference does it make when people speak up if you can’t trust the words? Isn't it better to seek guidance from the quiet ones? The people who speak cautiously and are only bold when they have a command of the subject matter?

Those who feel shame in ignorance are the ones to be trusted. Those who feel no shame are the ones that screw up everything and then deny any responsibility. If we are conscious of our own ignorance, we will research further on issues and problems or seek counsel from subject matter experts in order to make the best judgment. If we simply take actions on conclusions that are based on thinking that we know what we do not know, poor consequences will follow.

“Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” -- Thomas H. Huxley

“Study as though you cannot catch up to it, and as though you fear you are going to lose it.” – Confucius

“Education is the progressive realization of our ignorance.” -- Albert Einstein

-James Kirk Wall

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Tags: philosophy

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