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An Educated Ignorance

November 13, 2015

“There is no ignorance,” he said, “like an educated ignorance.”

This was once upon a time, long ago and far away. We were walking to our cars after a particularly frustrating evening meeting that dragged on past 10pm. We both had like two hour drives back home.

I said nothing, still processing what he’d said: “There is no ignorance like an educated ignorance.”

He went on, quoting a Beatles song and kind of singing it in the process. “Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.”

I was still back on “an educated ignorance,” which summed up so much so well.

And which still haunts me.

There’s a prayer in our current hymnal that’s made it into heavy rotation in my own life;

From the cowardice that dares not face new truth,

from the laziness that is contented with half-truth,

from the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth,

Good Lord,

deliver me.

— 597 in The United Methodist Hymnal

Amen. And yikes.


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  1. Bill Elving permalink

    LOVE IT. To paraphrase Helen Keller, “If all the time and energy spent in chasing the devil were spent loving our fellow man the devil would die in his tracks”………bill


  2. Janet permalink

    I have this posted on my frig as a reminder.


  3. This helps me in the explanations I give others about what is happening in Illinois and in DC. There is so much educated ignorance it is like looking highly educated adults operating at a Kindergarten intelligence. Fits for me, and in my writing, while doing it, I ask to be delivered every day (especially during campaign seasons and watching a CEO trying to run a state as a top-heavy corporation). As Holbrook Jackson says, “Suffer fools gladly; they may be right. On the other hand, the actress, Kathleen Turner says, “The older I get, the less I suffer fools gladly.” I kind of fall in between. I am better some days than others. I am sure my congressmen and senators find me a bit a fool, but they are nice about it.


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