Today is the ninth day of the A-Z Blogging Challenge. Just to remind you, I’m doing an A-Z of human emotions, feelings and mental states.Today is the letter I and I couldn’t decide whether to write about Ignorance or Innocence, so I’m doing both.
Ignorance and Innocence are both related to a lack of knowledge and understanding. But there are distinct differences. Innocence is a more positive term suggesting naiveté and purity. Innocence is endearing. Today we want our children to hang on to their innocence for as long as possible before they are corrupted by knowledge of the terrible things that happen in the world. We romanticise the memories of when we were young and innocent-when we used to believe in Father Christmas and wish on stars- before the world made us sceptical and pessimistic.
Ignorance, on the other hand, implies an access to knowledge that isn’t utilised. It’s a term we usually apply to adults who lack knowledge and understanding of issues that we think are important because they are too lazy to learn. In this day and age when information is readily available at our finger tips, we can find out anything we want to know from books, the internet, television and radio. Not to know something that everybody else knows makes you look as if you haven’t bothered to learn it.
Ignorance is also associated with prejudices like sexism and racism. It is thought that people hold objectionable beliefs about members of different races, classes or genders because they do not know enough about them and instead make up their own myths without attempting to really understand them.
Too often in today’s society ignorance is used as an excuse. Of course it’s impossible to know everything and there may be times where we genuinely didn’t know about something through no fault of our own. But on more important issues, such as those of different cultures or politics, there is no excuse to make ignorant comments. If we want to comment or criticise we need to do our research and know what we are talking about-otherwise we should keep silent.
What’s your view on the difference between innocence and ignorance?