Ignorance Is Bliss – Perception Is Truth

Certain occasions call for a bit of ignorance.

Personally, when the discussion of childbirth rears its terrifying head into conversation, this is when I plead for ignorance. My mommy friends like to bare all to their possible no kids ever friend (me). I imagine they get great pleasure knowing I’m gripping my undercarriage while they relive “the miracle of motherhood.”

If I am ever “blessed” with motherhood and flood my Facebook feed with weekly updates of my child because “this love is like no other,” I’m going to wish in the moment before the miracle, when my feet are locked into stirrups and my husband is franticly looking for ice chips, that I didn’t know what an episiotomy entailed and how high the odds are of shitting myself in front of an audience.

This category of ignorance is a small anomaly. It’s the type of knowledge you do know but don’t really want to know.

And then, there’s the ignorance which makes you scratch your head, keel over in scrutinizing pain or stand dumbfounded–not sure how to respond.

Example for argument’s sake:

“Where are you from?” asks the whitey to the non-whitey, “America.”

This is a stomach-wincer, for sure. Mostly because I’m guilty of it in the past and didn’t know it was rude until I noticed a friend of a friend show slight signs of irritation after inquiring. Curiosity does kill the cat.

I learned it’s a micro-aggression to assume someone who isn’t white has this awesome story of “how they came to America,” because duh, they were probably born here. Ugh, 19-year-old Shannon makes me cringe every once in awhile.

“Insert issue [rape] is a problem everywhere, insert opinion [not just on college campuses.]”

Because I’m using rape as an example topic, lets stick to this scenario for argument purposes. This can be used with any trending topic, insert any issue and we’re more than likely all guilty of speaking without all the facts. Doesn’t make us terrible, bigoted people. 

I’ve heard this more commonly throughout the years because the issue has recently become more popular to discus throughout the media. And like most issues, the general population has their opinions and are freely open to agreeing and/or disagreeing, sometimes blatantly obvious no further research was involved and only opinion based off what they felt.

There has been countless research, breaking stories and documentaries [The Hunting Ground, available on Netflix] that shine light on its ever present danger amongst college students.

  • 1 in 5 females under the age of 25 will experience rape or sexual assault.
  • 9 out of 10 females knew their rapist.
  • A high percentage of college men are not rapists and will never commit the act, but the small fraction who do, are raping multiple women. It’s common multiple woman who have been raped at college (who don’t necessarily know each other) have been raped by the same man.
  • Universities are guilty of sweeping cases under the rug and blaming the victim to keep its annual rape report numbers low.

Like any trending issue in the news, it’s more common for audiences to read the headline, form their own opinion and do no further investigation before making blanket statements.

Nobody wants to be labeled as ignorant, it’s a blow to the ego. In attempts to keep up with the Jones’ it’s not un-natural to stick to your guns.

Ignorance is sometimes correlated with political correctness and foreshadowed by this country’s new objective to “please everyone,” and I admit, I share the same belief in regards to certain issues–mostly involving the Internet. I can’t quite wrap my head around being offended my a stranger’s comment on a news article that causes a rumble in the comment section.

What’s morbidly hilarious about this phenomena is it’s explained by perception and important to remember this Saturday Night Live skit.

There’s this guy, who has been working on a nuclear reactor for years and is about to retire. He tells the two guys covering his job, that all they have to do is “keep the reactor cool,” and this is the knob to let water into the reactor. He says the one thing to remember is, “you can’t over water it.” 

He leaves and the first guy starts turning up the water all the way. The second guy, starts shouting, “what are you doing!” The first guy says, “you can’t over water it.” The second guy says, “I know, you CAN’T OVER WATER it.”

Confused? The first guy perceives “you can’t over water it,” as pump as much water in as possible. The second guy perceives it as you can’t pump too much water in because you’ll over water it.

Perception is truth. 

I’m gunna break it down on a personal level, because this isn’t strictly about political, religious or trending issues. 

I try to remember not all people are trying to make you pull your hair out or purposefully say something offensive. We’re all trying to figure out which part of the roller coaster we’re on in life and it’s never a smooth ride for any of its passengers.

Over the years I have become more comfortable with labeling myself as a writer. I went to college for it and acquired truck loads of debt for it and was trained by some of the best journalists, public relation professionals and advertising professors.

I’ve openly admit I’d like to publish a book, write a half-hour TV dramedy, and have spent years learning my passion and its rules. I’ve got plenty of room to improve.

More recently, I was published. In like a real book with binding. This accomplishment still doesn’t deter strangers, family, whomever, to question my ability to write a sentence and/or story.

“Whaddya think you’re gunna be the next J.K. Rowling?”

“You write for social media, that’s not quality writing.”

Somebody tells me,”my uncle’s kid’s friend is a really good writer, I bet you don’t write like so and so.”

What am I going to do? Be that person who reminds every nay-sayer I did get published, went to school for journalism with a focus in strategic communication, I actually do ALL the writing for my job and ramble off the list of materials I write on a regular basis? Ironically, this is what I just did, but for argument’s sake, go with me!

Nah, it’s not worth it, because I know they don’t mean any harm. They’re just yak’n.

Not to mention, I’d be a miserable human being with a HUGE chip on my shoulder trying to prove everyone and their momma wrong. When really, I’d be the one suffering in the end.

I think that ^ is an important tidbit to remember.

It’s okay to have your ideals and beliefs, but it’s also important to expand your knowledge. I want to be a good human. I try to pay attention to my surroundings and what my words inflict on innocent bystanders and if I’m lucky enough to notice I’m making someone uncomfortable, I want to understand why, because it’s the best I can do. Learn.

We’re all just human.



One thought on “Ignorance Is Bliss – Perception Is Truth

  1. Mil-inda says:

    Amen. We are all human and doing the best we can each day….with what we’ve learned up till now…for me it all comes down to one thing…be kind.

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