Saturday, February 5, 2011

To Be And How Not To Be

I never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him.

Let's face it all of us are ignorant about most things. You may not feel like an ignorant person until you find yourself confronted with a problem about which you know nothing or find yourself in a conversation with experts in some alien field. In those cases it is best to keep your mouth shut and leave it up to those who know.

But being ignorant about almost everything might mean that you are an authority on something, and if so you have something to teach or show someone. You might be a total dodo about everything else but you can put a roof on a garage or place kick a football.

If we can find out what a person knows about, even if they don't know anything else, we can learn something from them.

The dangerous combination is ignorance and arrogance, people who don't know but think they do. Some of the biggest messes in the world have been created by those people. What we can learn from them is how not to do something. I've had teachers who taught me how not to teach. I've seen actors who showed me how not to act and directors who taught me how not to direct a play.

Those ignorant/arrogant are rampant in the world. Look at politicians for example. Look at TV personalities. particularly in the news and political opinion sectors. I remember one case during the bombing of Baghdad. At first there were a few very brief video clips to see and one of them showed an Arab man running at night. One of our senior TV news reporters said there seemed to be a man running in his bathrobe. I hooted. He may wear a bathrobe in Scarsdale or wherever he lives on his fat network salary but someone should have shown him a picture of an Arab in his robes.

The big difference between ignorance and stupidity is that ignorance is curable. I have learned to freely admit I don't know something if I don't. I will put up with the scorn if it's followed by an explanation. By the same token I won't put up with being told what to do by someone who doesn't know. I spent an hour in a recording session one day with a director who didn't know the first thing about recording a commercial but thought she did. She was arrogant and insulting. The product she wanted and got out of me was second rate. I refused to work for her again. How many times have you talked to some clown at Tech Support who had no idea what to do? Someone should teach them that if they don't know something they shouldn't act as if they do.

There are lessons to be learned at every dealing of human with human if we are willing to look and listen for them. Personally I hope to achieve and maintain the level of awareness and acceptance implied in Galileo's statement. "I never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him."

DB - The Vagabond

Weekend puzzle: STEW

change Internet provider (6)
switch from off to particle (5)
Calloway born old (7)
auto rust (6)
pan to the office (6)
crush a hotel unit (8)
vigor for each )6)
sounds like a basement type thing (6)
worn around the neck down south (8)
southern California jungle beast (8)
answer to exist (5)
drink to the king (4)
beer joint to the left end, yes (6)
bad humor afoot (4)

Enjoy your dish.


krissy knox said...

excellent post. that's true, you can learn something from everyone. that is good that you are open to seeing what you can learn from people, instead of getting angry at them for their ignorant or stupid behavior. not everyone is as gracious as you. it is much better to just learn from people what you can, no matter what situation you are in, as you stated.

krissy knox
Sometimes I Think
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Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I agree, ignorance and arrogance is a bad combination.

pacifica62 said...

"Ignorance is curable", yes I like that statement. I never mind asking questions or learning something from someone else. Many people love to be asked about something they know a lot about and are happy to share what they do know with others. At my age, I feel I am still "teachable". In fact, it is at this time in my life that I have started to see just how much I do not know.

Sandisan said...

sorry I haven't been by to read lately, this was a good entry....I agree with you that too many people in powerful places are really ignorant when it come to dealing with other people....take care..Sandi

Liz said...

If all we ever learn is how ignorant we are we will have graduated to the nextlevel.