A Case for Ignorance

Welcome back.  Sorry I missed posting this yesterday… my bad.

Well, over the last couple of blogs you have learned quite a bit about my family and my youth.

As I think about my youth, I now see that I was protected from a lot of negatives.  I was protected by the fact that I just wasn’t told about them.  I never realized we were poor because our parents (nor anyone else) ever told us we were poor.  I think there is something to be said about ignorance.  Not that I am promoting ignorance I just think that it has been given a bad rap.

Information is greatly overrated sometimes.  For example, I really believe that if I were in school now I would be diagnosed with all kinds of interesting stuff with fancy names and initials.

There is no question in my mind that I have dyslexia and DDA.  But since I wasn’t told I had it I had the luxury of not bearing the burden of knowing any better.

Now don’t get me wrong, I believe that having a handle to grab hold of when trying to figure out why things are the way they are is ok.  It is important to have context.

But if not careful things can get real messy.  The problem is not so much the person with the challenges but other people.  All too often they begin to weigh down the poor afflicted soul with reasons for their struggles and excuses for their lack of success.

Children’s talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives.
Maya Angelou

All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure.
Mark Twain

Not knowing you can’t do something can a blessing.  The curse is hearing people say you are not capable or it can’t be done and then believing it.

If not careful, some information can trap one into the perceived “what is” and keep us from what “can be”.  There are lots of examples of successful people who were blessed by ignorance… they didn’t know enough to realize they couldn’t do or accomplish something.

I have an acquaintance that while in college started his own concrete construction company.  He and his brothers made a few dollars doing small jobs like pouring sidewalks and driveways.  The company grew because of their hard work and ability to do more work in a day than their competitors.

He told me one time that they didn’t know that they weren’t supposed to be able to pour the amount of concrete they did.  Now they are the world’s largest concrete construction company.

Now don’t everyone get upset with me thinking that I am advocating ignorance as a lifestyle… I am not.  I am just making the point that well intended information can trap your thinking and limit growth if not careful.

For me, not knowing I was poor kept me from thinking poor, and not thinking poor kept me from acting poor, and not acting poor allowed me to step beyond my circumstances.

Well, enough philosophizing for today, back to climbing the mountain on Thursday.

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