Which comes first?  The wisdom or the ignorance?  Did you ever think you have to be wise to be ignorant.  Isn’t it not fun when you say you know something and are proven wrong?  Most of the time in our minds we have strong feelings about something and disagree with the person talking but keep quiet.  And… in the end… are glad we did because we found out we were wrong…?  Or at least sufficiently unenlightened??   My fabulous dad used to say:  “Chris, you don’t learn anything when you are talking”…  ok Dad….whatever….   oops… 60 years later he was right.  Boy, was I stupid.

There is so much knowledge out there if we would just read and listen.  It would be really wise to do so.  And even the ignorant can just google and find fact.  Google is beyond comprehension.  It is almost like talking to God.  Where else can you find fact without the subtle bias of newspaper and commentator editorials?   Professed media professionalism has become the dither between ads.  LOL

But we don’t like to learn from history.  We act ignorant that things have happened; wars have been fought, and we stumble forward with speeches professing solutions and outcomes without commitment.  Inaction is our sword.  But the enemies, and yes, hello, there are enemies, know how dull it is.

In our new found genius we ignore the past and celebrate our sophistication and degrees and act as if utopia is attainable.  With the right bureaucracy fairness will be administered.  Sounds great, but who is listening to the past?

So does wisdom come from ignorance?  If you are ignorant but listen, are you wise???  Hmmm..??

After college and the Navy and many years in business I found that the most brilliant people came from little or no formal education.  They had to work for everything they got.   They often worked to pay for their college and never lost that work ethic.  Work means giving up a lot of your “private time”.  But work teaches about life, degrees don’t.  Colleges don’t teach values other than the number kind.  How can some of the most successful businesses  be created or run by those without formal education?  Is selflessness taught in college?  Is self-sacrifice taught in college?  In business and the military, more wisdom is taught because you have to listen or pay a price.  Here reality is taught, not theorized about.

Oops, I bet eyebrows are rising.   Let’s take education head on.  Education is all about righting the wrong of ignorance.  Right?   I think universities could be  the bastions of higher wisdom if they would put their feet back on the ground and look each student straight in the eye and proclaim they will not let them down.  That they will prepare them for the combat of life.  That they will teach more about how things work and fail by using more real people to give witness  even if their grammar and accent  is not comforting.  And damn it, teach them that there is right and wrong and that there is a price to be paid for not listening.  Teach black and white before you teach grey..  Teach integrity, not tenure.  Prudence not pension. Challenge their  idealistic spirit without compromise.  That you cannot have solar dreams without mud on your boots.  That you cannot have freedom without blood on your hands.

Don’t be ignorant about wisdom.  Listen to your fathers and forefathers.

Don’t be ignorant about wisdom.  Listen to your fathers and forefathers.

Christopher Bent
Naples, FL

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