Ignorance, intolerance or incompetence?
I am not afraid to admit it. But I maybe should be. My biggest flaw is lack of patience for incompetence. To me, incompetence is not the inability to do something but the inability to try to do it.
Say you are in an unfamiliar bathroom and attempting to draw a bath. You do not know how to convert water flow from the shower head to the tub spout: do you test all the levers until you get the desired result? Or, do you quickly resign yourself to not knowing and thus seek assistance? Or, do you just give up on the bath altogether?
I have always had a curious mind. One of the first big words my dad taught me was "inquisitiveness." From then on, I used that word to describe myself. My life has been filled with questions and experiments: Who can teach me something I do not already know? What can I learn from him or her? When can I try a different approach? Where can I get more information? Why are we doing it this way? How does it work? If I just keep asking questions, then I will eventually get to the true cause.
I do not quite get when people are too "hesitant" to try or simply lack the initiative. Why stay in the comfort zone when you can learn something new and exciting? Maybe challenging the status quo is seen as too aggressive a mindset, or lacking empathy, but to me, the pursuit of knowledge is empowering. Knowledge is fuel. Fuel stores energy to ultimately propel things forward. So, without knowledge and thus without fuel, you are at a standstill. You are no better than you were before. Wouldn't you want to improve your current condition? Wouldn't you want to at least try?
But then again, if you do not even view bathing or utilizing every-day appliances, for instance, as an improvement, then maybe there are bigger issues at hand.
I value learning so much that I have difficulty understanding how others do not share that same excitement in gathering new information or being exposed to new adventures - no matter how big or small. Education - whether informal, non-formal or formal - provides you with the toolkit to assess life and better tackle its challenges.
Education can decrease poverty, violence and most "isms" - like racism, sexism, heterosexism, anti-antisemitism. With education, you begin to step outside the givens and make sense of information yourself.
This reminds me of Plato's Cave: what we see and hear is what we believe. But unlike those prisoners, all we have to do is look around us to see the true cause of the shadows and actually face reality. Then what illuminates can also enlighten.
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