What is the cost of ignorance?
When an individual suffers from their own ignorance, it can be observed as a cycle of self-induced suffering. Often times this pattern of self-induced suffering is apparent to everyone in the room except the individual who remains blinded by ignorance. Being an ubiquitous aspect of our shared humanity, we all share an inherent susceptibility to remaining unaware of what we don’t know.
It’s wise to realize that this affects us all in big and small ways, from the deeply personal level of our own inner world (why am I feeling this way?), to the interconnected dynamics of society at large (why are they acting that way?). We don’t know what we don’t know, but if we remain curious and open, we can glean wisdom from the difficult circumstances and cycles of suffering that are rooted in our individual and collective ignorance.
The cost of ignorance is unnecessary pain and suffering. It’s missed opportunity and regret. It’s lack of faith and hope. The cost of ignorance is a diminished life, it’s meaninglessness, hopelessness, uncertainty, and fear. The cost of ignorance is chaos, it’s the unraveling and destruction of beauty and order. The cost of ignorance is the loss of what’s loved, and an inevitable slide into insanity.
When we’re suffering but can’t figure out why we are suffering, it’s maddening. This is as true at the personal level as it is at the societal level. Given the existential crisis that is ravaging our nation, it seems appropriate to stop and ask ourselves why — Why are we so divided? Why are people acting so strange? Why am I so frustrated with what’s going on? Why does it feel like everything is spinning out of control?
As I’ve been pondering these questions, considering the different facets of this complex situation, something struck me. Ignorance is an inherent part of life and is always present in some degree or another, but not all ignorance has the same degree of impact. Thus, a small degree of ignorance in one area can easily have a disproportionate impact in all other areas of life, affecting society as a whole.
For example, being ignorant of government propaganda has widespread consequences.
Stay with me here, because the converse is also true. Higher degrees of ignorance, or a broader scope of not knowing, does not necessarily correlate to a greater degree of suffering. Yes, you read that right: More ignorance does not necessarily have to lead to more suffering. The correlation is there, but it is ultimately irrelevant.
What do I mean, and why am I not just talking about the news today? Because talking about what’s wrong with the world — which is both necessary and entertaining — doesn’t bring us any closer to practical solutions. To chart a path forward, to cast a vision for a future worth having, we must address the root cause of the problem, which lies in one particular aspect of our individual and collective ignorance.
It would be ineffective trying to educate and inform everyone on everything, in an effort to eradicate ignorance. That would be an impossible task, amounting to little more than wishful thinking. To truly affect change, to correct course, get back on track and save our country, we must address ignorance from a very specific angle.
We must evoke curiosity and stimulate questions. We must strategically leverage intelligent inquiry to lead minds to a greater awareness of the greater good. To be clear, I am talking about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — I’m just using colloquial jargon to demonstrate how words can be phrased for broader appeal. If there is any hope of bridging the divide, we must use language to do it.
Getting down to brass tacks, the one area that we need to arouse curiosity the most, is the questioning of intent. Recent rumination led to the realization that too few people question the intent of the government. They fail to question the intent of Dr. Fauci or the CDC, for example. The assumption that those who claim authority over our lives actually have our best interest in mind, is a telltale sign of one the most insidious forms of ignorance: This is the ignorance of intent.
Those that suffer from this sort of ignorance — who are unaware they are being lied to, abused, and mistreated by their government — will continue to be led like sheep to the slaughter. Once the Stockholm Syndrome sets in, it can be very difficult to reach those who are being held captive by the constant fear and threats to their safety.
This is precisely where we are at right now, as a society, and it is certainly not by accident that we find ourselves in this predicament. For far too long, we have been ignorant of the malicious intent of well-meaning politicians. Our founding fathers tried to warn us, but I believe Daniel Webster put it best:
“There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.”
By forcing lockdowns, masking, testing, tracking, social distancing, quarantining, mandatory vaccinations, and other medical mandates, they mean to control us physically. Through the use of incessant propaganda, social pressure, and restricting the information we receive, they mean to control us mentally and emotionally.
By destroying our way of life and taking control of where we can go, what we can wear, what we can eat, who we can see, what we can say, and what we believe, they aim to break our will, suppressing the human spirit to take control of our souls.
How might we awaken those not yet awake? By communicating the cost of ignorance, and elevating awareness to the dark intent of our self-proclaimed masters.