The Willful Ignorant

Not all ignorance is created equal!
Ignorance in any form is human tragedy. Ignorance is waste, it is squandered potential. Ignorance is a void, it is a negative quantity, an absence. But it is not all the same.

There is the most common ignorance, the Incurious Ignorance. It is an ignorance of apathy. Many people simply do not care to know or to learn. Knowledge as a lofty goal does not arouse their mind. They are absorbed in the detailed minutiae of trivial crap. They concentrate on that which is the most effortlessly accessible and digestible. They do not relish nuance; they do not even appreciate nuance. Nuance is a hindrance for these people. It is a sense of mysterious confusion best avoided and circumvented rather than confronted and untangled. When your distaste for ambiguity dispels all curiosity, you will lavish yourself with the easily comprehended antics of others and society. As such, you do not seek a higher road, a more circumspect mode of life. You avoid these things and wallow in the superficial plane of fruitless knowledge and lackluster amusements. This is the ignorance we commonly understand as such. I used to spare my wrath for these people. But when I think about them, how can they possibly anger me? They do not pretend to know anything or more than they can. They do not pretend knowledge is their blessing. Their offensive ignorance is not disingenuous. Why concern myself with actions and thoughts of people whose inherent characters are based on an unrecognizable lack of concern?

And there is a more discreet form of ignorance, one I find more abhorrent. I find it so because unlike Incurious Ignorance, these subjects know better. For any number of reasons such as laziness, fear, apathy, they ignore the subterranean glimmer of knowledge they are conscious exists there but they persist in turning their back to it in the distracted pursuit of their normal life’s distractions. Rather than acquaint themselves with the niggling bits of knowledge that are scattered about the circumference of their half-hearted efforts, they are content to live their life knowing that this easily accessible knowledge is there for them to discover and act upon, but instead, they allow it to exist in the limbo state of unknown but perceived knowledge. These are the Willful Ignorant. Their empty potential rings hollow. These people cannot cry ignorance for their affront is one greater than apathy or unconcern. It is complacency and disrespect. To deprive oneself of knowledge is to deprive others of the same. It is a duty shirked. The Willful Ignorant presume to value knowledge, unlike the Incurious Ignorant. And still…their valuation of knowledge is a facade that serves no purpose other than to propel them to the next bouquet of sweet intellectual promises. The Willful Ignorant betray knowledge, the greatest intellectual transgression of all.