I like people. I like learning about them and understanding their thoughts. I find that even people I don’t agree with on many topics have something to teach me.
Know what I don’t like? Ignorance. I hate ignorance and even more than that, I hate that people are ignorant and completely ok with remaining that way. It kills me completely. It makes my heart want to cry and scream at the same time. Today I feel really frustrated.
When I ask something out of ignorance (while admitting freely that I am ignorant but open to being educated about my ignorance) I totally enjoy the experience of being taught the truth of something by someone who knows I am interested in being properly corrected of my ignorance. In fact, it makes me supremely happy to learn something that may have stood in my way of understanding someone on a deeper level.
At the core of my many friendships is a base of being willing, even eager, to be educated. I have made soo many wonderful friends from all over the world and from soo many different cultures that I feel truly blessed to be gifted these lessons that help me become more aware. Awareness makes me more, and more, is something I want to be every single day until the day I die.
The fact that some are perfectly ok with being ignorant makes me go completely unhinged. It causes such a mixture of emotions that I am generally hard put to calm myself down. Disgust, anger, sadness, frustration and a deep well of despair are just a few of the things I feel when encountering mindsets like this.
At work tonight a co-worker got a bit annoyed with a customer’s comment about the lack of male assistance with his furniture pick-up.
While his comment was a bit annoying and egotistical (you can read my views on gender stereotyping on another post I got floating around on here somewhere) I truly feel that her comment after he left was even more unsettling.
She made a snide comment that just because his religion supports hating women that she doesn’t need to listen to his chauvinistic rhetoric.
Soo…, I’m assuming she was referring to the Islamic religion which, admittedly, has a lot of debate regarding their religious text regarding misogyny and woman’s place according to the Quran, the problem, is that the man wasn’t even Islamic. He was Indian.
Now, it’s possible the man could have been Islamic (just being Indian doesn’t mean you have to follow the majority) but given that the four major religions based in India are Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. I think it unlikely.
What bothered me most, was that her response to his ignorance was to exhibit ignorance of her own. Why are we, as people, like this? We feel insulted by someone’s ignorance and feel justified in making slurs against them in return.
Why is it often our first reaction to ignorance, as people, to strike out at someone? To display our disgust and revulsion instead of our dismay and sadness at encountering someone who isn’t aware of being ignorant? I would very much rather have people interested in educating each other compassionately. Sadly, I rarely see this skill in action. I want to see this skill desperately. Truly, I want to learn how this is done well.
Understanding is so much more helpful than anger. I want to understand. I want to encounter a life that teaches lessons and changes viewpoints.
I don’t want to hate people for their views, I want to love mankind despite themselves, and maybe, with time and discussion, teach them to question their taught behaviors and perhaps educate themselves to a new way of approaching one another.
I don’t want to hate people. I want to gently show others that it is possible to be open with one another and that it’s ok to admit to ignorance, so long as we are genuinely seeking to understand.
How do I do that in a world crammed full of people who are hard-wired to react instead of reflect? Seriously, I’m asking. How do I do what Mother Theresa did? How do I channel Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr? I want, very much to learn the proper way to engage people. To replace their reaction with reflection probably takes a subtle hand. A very light touch. I’m ignorant, please educate me.
I am frustrated. I want to help people understand one another better. I want them to see each other and learn to break down barriers to acceptance and tolerance. Days like this make me wonder if mankind will ever truly find the path that leads to global unity and cultural wisdom.
Why are these truths so clear to me but not to others? I feel separate from people. I feel very much alone in my desire to understand and learn from my ignorance.
I don’t wish my awareness away, I just wish I had the skill to help others see the potential of our future selves.