Ignorance Outshines Wisdom

“I don’t suppose there ever was a time when everybody knew as little about what they were talking about as they do today.” – Will Rogers, 19 September 1933

Banner Having Y Say  I like this quote from Will Rogers so much that this is the second time I have used it here on RJsCorner. It just seems like “knowing so little” is in vogue today. Ignorance is almost topping out wisdom with far too many of us. The current Oval Office occupant prides himself on not reading books or anything else for that matter. He gets all his news from selected cable TV news programs even while he proclaims that they are all just “Fake News”. Don’t try to see any logic in that method as there isn’t any.

canstockphoto20722715How does ignorance come to outshine wisdom? Of course, that is not true for all of us but the percentages seem to be drifting in that direction as our recent elections showed us. The religions of 81% of Evangelicals who put Trump in office requires all their members to proclaim that the earth is only 6,000 years old. They refuse to accept any scientific knowledge that says differently. Ignorance has trumped wisdom in their religious lives and it has bled into the rest of their lives. Ignorance outshines wisdom.

Far too many people only read things that they already agree with. Wisdom is not gained by hearing the same thing over and over again. Instead, it is gained by searching out the unfamiliar, looking for new information, new ways to solve old problems. Wisdom is gained through new experiences not just constantly reliving the old ones.

But finally, maybe ignorance is outshining wisdom for too many of us because becoming wise takes a lot of effort. It takes a lot of tolerance to see things differently. Whereas, ignorance is easy peasy. Just latch on to something you are told and disregard everything else about the subject at hand.

Ignorance is easy, wisdom is hard.  It might just come down to that fact.

 

About Common Sense…

crayon-banner  Like the Force in the Star Wars Saga common sense has a good side and a dark side and sometimes it is difficult to know which is which in any given circumstance.  Yes, there is common sense that our creator evidently gave us to be able to tell right from wrong.  This type of common sense is what the early philosophers and even Tom Paine talked about. It is something that tells us what actions to take in certain circumstances. But there is also the dark side of common sense that is in all of us. Like so many other words “common sense” seems to have almost morphed into something else today.

Simply stated, without some serious reflection I just don’t trust my common sense or anyone else’s for that matter.  Too much of what people call common sense today is really just the prejudices taught to them. In that regard I try to keep an open mind on most topics of life and just not trust my common sense.

An example of the dark side is that there are too many people around who don’t trust the “experts” but instead say they use their common sense. It happens often in areas like global warming and many other scientific matters. They say “my common sense tells me that all the global warming nonsense is just not true”. I will admit that from my  life in these seventy years I have been exposed to many different things and have retained some knowledge along the way.  But I am by no means an expert in any of them. As they say I know enough to be dangerous.

When I want to know more about an area of life I most often go to the experts.  I will admit that often times in today’s world people claim to be experts but are really  only using their common sense so to speak.  So, it takes work to just discover who you should be going to for additional knowledge. But I trust someone who has studied a given circumstance for years rather than someone who claims common sense about the issue.

Yes,  I seek out doctors and legal help with great diligence. But I also depend on experts in other areas.  I spent 5 years in a rigorous study of a segment of the spiritual community. I sought out a the views of a variety of people who knew more about it than I do.  In the end I found that the answers to my questions were with a combination of thoughts that I didn’t have going into the study.

To finish up here, I just don’t trust people who don’t trust the experts, that is the real ones,not self proclaimed, experts.  When we discount real knowledge in favor of common sense we are often just closing our minds to alternate ways of looking at something. As least that is my opinion.

Too Much Stuff….

crayon-banner  This is going to be one of my Crayon Marks/ Wise Guy posts where I show you the wisdom I have acquired in my seven decades on this earth. It is about STUFF, STUFF, and MORE STUFF.   I think you get the idea. 🙂

Being born in 1946 I was at the very head of the Baby Boom generation. I grew up in the suburbs on Indianapolis until we moved to the country during my high school years. They make, or at least made, movies about those times that have an ounce of truth but maybe not much more. All these shows treated this era as the age of happiness and a simpler time, a time of innocence that we dream to return to. But that is kind of like “making America great again” in that it is not necessary, it has always been great.

Until my mother abandoned us for greener pastures, ours was a two-income family. Dad had numerous low skill jobs during that time and Mom worked as a receptionist in a doctor’s office for a few years. Given a combination of her narscissism and a douse of senility she later claimed to be a doctor because of that experience.  But as usual I am getting off topic here.

The point of this post is that even though we were a two income family we just didn’t have nearly the amount of stuff that most people have today. When Mom left, our lifestyle went down but it didn’t change a lot as far as stuff was concerned.  Yeah, while we could still afford it we had a 1,000 square foot 3 bedroom house in the burbs but little else.  Each closet was about three feet wide and with all our clothes there was still plenty of room for more.   We didn’t have the electronic gadgets of today, no cellphones, iPads, or even calculators or transistor radios; those would all come later. I don’t remember having even a bicycle.

Fast forward to today and it seems most teenagers have enough clothes to fill all the closets in our early home. Everyone has to have their own $300 or more cellphone and update it yearly. I hate to guess what the typical allowance is now days but I am willing to bet it is MANY times more than the $0.35 that I got weekly. When kids today become 16 you must have your own car. I didn’t own a car until I graduated college. It is no longer good enough to just have a comfortable place to live. Now you MUST have an outdoor fire pit and waterfall.

If we don’t start out wanting more stuff then it is eventually drilled into us via all the cable TV shows.  Everyone has cable now right?  If folks really want to get back to the innocence of the 1950s maybe they need to shed almost all of their stuff and try living like we did in those years. Stuff can be as much a burden as a joy, especially if you have it mainly because everyone else does.

Thinking Of Us…

2016-06-04_09-40-43.png

I love this quote, it has so much truth in our lives. After our rebellious teenage years we start thinking about our place in life.  What will we become, what do others think about us. We want to make our mark on the world in our own unique ways but still very much want to belong.

Then when we turn forty and our mid-life crisis, to whatever degree, hits us we don’t really care as much of what others think of us.  We  become more attuned to getting what we want out of life than how we are perceived by others.

Then as we gain wisdom by age sixty we finally come to realize that for the most part those “others” haven’t really been thinking of us at all. Except, maybe for immediate family they haven’t been thinking about anyone but themselves.

Then when we turn seventy we realize all the time and effort we put into this whole process was pretty much wasted and so we just do what we want without regard for others who are pretty much doing the same thing might think of us.  We don’t care that we are not dressed in the latest styles, we wear what we deem comfortable. We finally do our own thing that we dreamed of doing fifty years before…

Talking to Old People…

A big part of RJsCorner is trying to give some young people who might accidentally come across my blog some advice on life.  I know that I did not face many of your current problems. I wasn’t afraid of being replaced by a robot during my work years but I downsized due to my job going off-shore. ISIS wasn’t around but I did see thousands of my brothers killed in Vietnam. The norm for my generation was a job with the same company for thirty years and then a pension for life after 65. I know that is now totally foreign to you.

I know the circumstances are different but learning the lessons of life really haven’t changed that much so maybe you can learn a thing or two from my successes and especially my failures. I have had a lot of each in my seven decades on this earth.

2016-03-27_09-41-52.png

I know old people just aren’t respected as much as they might have been in previous generations. My generation probably had a lot to do with that. I know that there are fewer and fewer younger people who will hold a door open for me or my wife and even fewer who will offer us their seat while waiting for a table in a restaurant. I know that respect for wisdom is on the wane.

Looking back with hindsight is much easier than looking forward so I can understand how you might feel about us old timers. But I truly believe that you could learn a few things from us in order to keep from making the same mistakes we did. Just give it a try sometime. Strike up a conversation with someone much older than yourself. I think you will be surprised with some of the lessons in life that we can teach you.