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  • Writer's pictureDora Nudelman

Ignorance Is Bliss?

Merriam-Webster defines ignorance as: “lack of knowledge, education, or awareness.” So then, who is most ignorant, a person who admits to not knowing but is willing to ask questions, or is it the person who claims to know everything that ever was, is, and will be and, therefore, asks none?

In recent weeks there has been a lot of censorship occurring under the guise of stopping the spread of “misinformation.” Yet, we need to ask ourselves, what makes something misinformed? If we close our eyes and bury our heads in the sand in favor of ignorance, the truth is, we will not be exercising our free will to discern what is best for ourselves. It is natural to trust those in authority, however, if we do not hold others accountable, at least to some degree, and ask the right questions, we will lose the very freedoms to which we have grown so accustomed.

Living in an era where information is so rampant and easily available, it is true that there will be differences of viewpoints and even misinformation. However, we are not pre-school children, so why are we allowing ourselves to be patronized? Are we not intelligent enough to make up our own minds and draw our own conclusions? Is that not what free will and independent thinking are all about? Sure, there are times when we need to defer to the experts because we are not specialists in all fields, and we need to admit to that. But that does not mean that we must take everything at face value without ever questioning the validity of what we are being told.

The fact of the matter is, even experts make mistakes sometimes, especially when under pressure. Never mind, we cannot assume that everyone is as righteous as we think. Unfortunately, the human race is not only made up of the Ghandi’s and Mandela’s, and what that means is, some people and institutions will have agendas that go beyond what is best for humanity. We have seen this happen time and time again; where we implicitly trusted a person, an organization, and/or an institution, only to be disappointed when the truth eventually came out. Now, that does not mean that we cannot trust anyone. All it means is that we need to make some space for human error, human ego, and human indiscretion, because these things can happen, and already have many times before.

As such, it is in all of our best interests to start to educate ourselves more, even if that means weeding through the BS, one way or another, in order to get to the truth or, at the very least, more questions. Unfortunately, we are a very reactive society. Meaning, we react to circumstances after the fact and then complain about it later. But why do we need to get to that point? There is a better way, and that way is simply through education and knowledge, no matter what field, sector, or topic is up for discussion. We cannot be too passive or lazy and then complain when things are no longer to our liking. We need to be proactive, whether it is with maintaining our optimal health, protecting our right to free speech, or questioning policies that we don’t understand or perhaps even agree with.

This is not an advocacy to go rogue or to be revolutionaries in stupid ways. Rather, this is a call to everyone to wake up and start taking more responsibility for their own lives, but also to realize that each of us has the power to contribute to the whole of society. However, we cannot do that with our heads buried in ignorance out of fear of what we might find. Human evolution only happens when enough people wake up to the need for change. And that is true both in the microcosm of our own lives and in relation to society and the world at large.

So perhaps it is now time to bridge the divide between our differences and come together in the universal goal of living with freedom, knowledge, transparency, tolerance, and the right to make our own decisions.

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