Culture of Ignorance

We live in a culture that does not want to know. We want food to arrive on our tables and programs to arrive in our TV but we don’t want to know how. Why? Because it’s not always pleasant to hear about how the animals are slaughtered or what it truly takes to put on a TV show. We talk about wanting to know the truth but quite frankly, as was once said by Jack Nicholson: We can’t handle the truth! OK that’s not exactly what he said but you get the jest.

We would much rather be entertained by our news than informed. If we are informed then we need to take action and let’s face it we are also a lazy culture. But that’s only part of the world. So much of the world is struggling while we sit back and watch our comedies. I am guilty of this. I find I watch the news less and less because it is depressing and I feel helpless. I want things to get better for everyone and yet I don’t know what I can do. I don’t have an amount of money that I can throw at the issues to correct them and I don’t have any skill set that can make changes. All I can do is offer moral support and when you are hungry from lack of food that’s not good enough. So, I support what agencies I can and hope for the best.

But there is an even more pervasive and destructive ignorance that is far too common:  manners. When I was growing up, I spoke to everyone with respect or I would deal with my parents at home. Not a pleasant thought. I said please and thank you, I said excuse me and when I did something wrong, I owned up to it and I apologized. Does anyone else find these common courtesies are happening less and less?

And I don’t blame the youth for this. I find a lot of them are trying to live up to the standards that we had when we were their age. That’s a good thing. I find older people are becoming less tolerant and more angry. Yes, we have gone through a horrible pandemic, we still are. Nerves are frayed and tempers are short. But isn’t this the time when we need to come together? When we need to stop and think. We’re doing OK. We will make it through this but only together. We need each other. As much as hermits hate the idea of camaraderie and I do hate crowds, we need each other. And that is not a bad thing.

42 thoughts on “Culture of Ignorance

  1. Murphy’s Law

    My dear friend, you are still the Wordsmith! You absolutely speak the truth, and I doubt you could find anyone who doesn’t relate to this.

    As a society, we’ve become so disrespectful. Good manners were a way of life when I was growing up, and remain so today. When you grow up in an atmosphere of good manners, respect, decency, compassion and being kind to others, it never leaves you. It’s part of who you are.

    I’m sad to say, many kids don’t see or live with these qualities at home any more. No close contact with a solid role model. Once again, these lessons become the responsibility of others, like teachers, who are already overwhelmed and overburdened now.

    I, too, hope we can come together, young and old alike. I often hear it said that in this country we can be anything we want to be. So let’s be kind to one another!
    Ginger

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    1. quiall Post author

      That last line is perfect! All it would take for this world to be better is for us to be kind to one another. Your words are so simple and so honest and so true.

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  2. K.L. Hale

    Pam, this writing is filled with truth. Thank you. I have this conversation with my friends quite often. To anyone reading this, I was quite shocked when I visited my grandson and new granddaughter in Alaska. My two year old grandson is so precious and curious. Mom is a former preschool teacher, homeschooled Montessori Mom with unbelievable gifts and curiosity (and just darn smart!). Asher and I would begin our play. No devices. No TV. All exploitable and hands-on. And at no time during my first two days did I hear “thank you” or “please”. I was shocked! Rather than be “that Mom” I started modeling (my son is in the Air Force and knows how he was raised and uses manners and these two near 30 year old parents weren’t displaying this?). They are isolate. On a base in Fairbanks. She has a new baby. I UNDERSTAND. I’m no judge. Soon after I started modeling it, it was as if a switch was flipped. They had forgotten? Little guy would say, “Peease Grammy K?” Or “thank you!” By the end of my two weeks I had felt I did my duty. And I could hear the manners flowing through the frigid air of Fairbanks. Simply, their hearts knew. Each day I encounter what you describe in some manner. We needed a wake up call. And sadly, some are never going to answer this “wake up” and continue to live as if everything should be given freely, as it it’s all grace. And I know the only free gift and like you, I’ll do my best to try and help out in my little piece of the world. 💛

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    1. quiall Post author

      I hear far too often that the pandemic is to blame for our lack of manners. I disagree. I think this is the time when we most need to be kind and polite and respectful. If we lose that, I think we lose an important part of our soul.

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  3. Garfield Hug

    Good post Pam on today’s landscape. I find people, especially youths becoming selfish and stuck on electronic gadgets instead of face to face conversations. Parents dote on them and they become self centred as they get what they want. Perhaps in other countries, kids are better?

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      1. Garfield Hug

        Agree that it is not restricted to kids but adults such as colleagues and even family members. People but self before others. This is why I am especially grateful to my Neighbor for cooking for me and saving me a share for whatever she buys or cook as she has my welfare in her heart.

        She gives me hope that some nice folks exist at the time when I was disappointed with people who are friendly only when I am of “use”

        It is sad indeed as I learnt to discern between true friends from fair weather friends.

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  4. John W. Howell

    Well said, Pamela. I have stopped speaking out on issues that I think are going to destroy us all. Why? Because the comments get trivialized into compartments that have labels that don’t even remotely fit. I think I will let the next generation try to deal with all the stuff that needs correcting. I won’t have to face it but they will. They are the ones that have one-word compartments anyway.

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  5. Dan Antion

    You’ve caused me to remember a lesson from my father that I may have to share in the future, Pam.

    We were taught how to get along, and we were taught not to remain ignorant. If we didn’t know something while growing up, we were encouraged to figure it out, go to the library, ask a friend/relative who had expertise. We were taught who among our family friends and relatives had expertise and warned about those who only had opinions. We were encouraged to share, things, skills, time and knowledge. If you were angry, you were not welcome. When my dad was bar-tending, he refused to serve an angry customer.

    I see good and bad signs among today’s youth. I think, for whatever reason, mean and angry people are more willing to share their malignant views today. I hope it’s a passing trend.

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    1. quiall Post author

      Hearing about your father I understand you more. He was a wise man. My father was exactly the same. They had such wisdom and such kindness and I find that missing from today’s world. And no, it’s not just the pandemic. I hope you do share your father’s lessons.

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  6. joylennick

    You are so right, Pamela. I was born n 1932 and went through World War 2. Experiencing rationing, separation through evacuation three times…(twice to Wales and once to Derbyshire )from my parents, I learned several lessons..Also, bad schooling (seven different schools) BUT I learned independence, patience, and the wonderful feeling of liberation and eating properly again when peace came. It is difficult to fully explain the elation felt when the war ended. Of course, there were sad faces and haunted ones, but the joy on many was palpable and for several years after the war’s end, there seemed to exist a seam of happiness, well being and general comradeship existing between people – as it did during the war years. Since then, sadly, people seem to have become discontented, ruder and greedy. My husband and I discussed this only recently. Having been lucky with caring, sensible parents, I learned from them and appreciate all my many blessings, especially three healthy sons, my husband, and life itself. .Long live friendship and good manners!.xx.

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    1. quiall Post author

      Beautifully said my friend! You don’t look old enough to have lived the experiences you have. But those experiences have made you the good person that you are and I’m pleased to call you friend.

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  7. Sorryless

    Thank you for pointing out that the current generation isn’t to blame for this seeming lack of manners and regard for others. They’re doing better than most give them credit for. But the people in my age group, yes, they are angry. And they don’t care to hear the other side of the equation.

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  8. Dale

    Very well said, Pam.
    Re the manners, it’s so true. I remember when, in grade 1 we respected the grade 6ers! Now, the kindergarten kids tell my sister to eff off (she works there). And we can’t blame them for what they are not taught.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. quiall Post author

      It is so very sad. I question whether or not these kids have respect for themselves when they can’t show it to others. But some of the older generation seem to be reverting.

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  9. CarolCooks2

    Sadly your thoughts are true, Pam…I also agree that it isn’t always the youngsters I meet many disagreeable older people who think it is their right to be downright nasty especially on FB and some pages… which I have left because I don’t like the tone/comments…I am not sure if social media has spawned this trend but I do know I don’t like it one bit…Have a great week 🙂

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  10. Widdershins

    Manners have been sliding down the toilet ‘U’ bend for some time now … and more often than not it’s ‘manners’ that enable very disparate personalities, and agendas, to find common ground and be able to effect change. Without a set of ‘manners-in-common’ society ceases to function … hmm, that sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

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