How to be Wise in a World Full of Ignorant People

You are walking down the street, you look down, and you become aware of something... or more like someone. A homeless man in the nook of a closed storefront. You immediately turn your eyes away.

Why is it that we turn away? I am not immune to this habit. You and I are alike in our attempt to ignore the sad truth of others’ lives. We turn away because it is much better to quietly continue our stroll and act unaware. You and I would take ignorance over looking the person in the eye and becoming aware of pain. This is not my attempt to say give all of your money to every homeless person you see because ignorance comes in many shapes and forms. It is what happens when someone tells you that your partner is cheating and you choose to ignore the warning.

Is ignorance truly bliss? It is bliss because it protects us from the truth that the world is not always as kind and people are not as loving as we hope. It is easy to want to become detached from the harsh sting of reality. Knowing requires understanding, it demands feeling, it forces us to see things for as they are and not as we wish them to be. But living a life in blind bliss has it’s price. Instead of living in pursuit of knowledge and understanding, you maintain the confident belief that your view of the world is the most important or just. Ignorance breeds a lack of empathy, humility, and love.

When you live in truth, you see reality as it is. When you seize the opportunity to learn, even when it exposes darkness and pain. Or take the moment to be sensitive to someone else’s life experience. When you walk down the street and don’t look away.