Ignorance vs stupidity, wisdom vs intelligence
We all know that there is a difference between wisdom and intelligence, such as knowing a tomato is actually a fruit is intelligence, but not putting it in a fruit salad is wisdom. But we also know, often to our shock at their examples, that the difference between ignorance and stupidity is often a yawning gap, a gaping maw that some times threatens to swallow us all.
We can look to everyday situations for stupidity, these momentary, or permanent, lapses in the simple common sense given to us by whatever god, or gods, you wish to choose. The pushing of a pull door, the wall we walk past every day, then somehow manage to walk straight into, or worse, bump it with a shoulder, and for some reason, apologise to it. Perhaps a sign that our over-used bodies are trying to tell our brains to shut up and sleep once in a while. But ignorance, ignorance is the mindless doing the unthinkable. We can simply take a trip to the local supermarket to see stupidity, in all walks; the small bottle of squash costing more than the big bottle. But maybe this isn’t stupidity on the supermarkets side, perhaps it’s brainless autonomy on our side. It makes sense for the supermarket to shift bigger bottles quicker, if the big bottle costs half the little bottle, we’re more likely to buy two big bottles, thus avoiding a sooner trip to the dreaded super-hell. Especially if you have children, those screaming grasping things that non-parents don’t understand, and despise, wondering why the parents don’t stop them running and screaming. All the while, some poor beleaguered parent is trying to ignore the calls for more chocolate, the pain in the chest that they swear will go away soon, and that little darling Johnny or his pretty princess sister will soon decide to stop sticking their boogers to the bathroom mirror. I personally go for the ‘growl and scare back to quiet submission at mummys side’ technique, not a favourite with all you parents, but a tried and tested method for us non-parents. If we had wanted children around us while shopping, we would have had them, or borrowed someone else’s. Best contraception ever, by the way, other peoples kids.
But I digress. Stupidity is the simple, unthinking muppet moments, when we mentally declare ‘Derp’ instead of actually thinking. But ignorance is, more often than not, not all cases, but the majority, the spiteful, cruel, malice riddled excuse for vindictive hate that seems to be clouding our minds, more so recently. Ignorance has given us the screaming masses (cough, EDL, cough cough). The cunning, vile cretins that declare any murder or abuse created by people claiming to be muslim must be true. It’s funny, these people, who mentally wear bigger white sheets than the Klan ever thought necessary, don’t like muslims, or in fact, anything non-white and Christian, don’t believe anything they do or say. But the second someone jumps up with a likely looking beard and robes, declares he ordered the killing, in the name of Allah, they believe it, instantly. Or maybe I don’t give them enough credit, they probably know it’s a ruse, guaranteed to wind everyone into a state of sheer berserker rage, they just like the excuse to start a fight, and play, as I heard one declare some time ago ‘beat the darkie’.
I’m white, I’m unorthodox Buddhist, I’m female, and to top it all off, I was raised in an army environment, and now I live in a small, predominately white town, that has recently gained a mosque. My mind was the perfect breeding ground for the hate everyone was feeling. The fear no-one wanted, but couldn’t help harbouring, and for a while it took.
I’ve never felt better to have shed an idea before.
Recently a young soldier, back from Afghanistan, which in itself has raised much ire, should we be there? shouldn’t we?, was killed by two men claiming to be working in the name of Allah. I’m not well-versed in the kor’an, but even I know it doesn’t declare that you should ‘run a man down with a car, then hack his body to pieces in front of a horrified crowd, all the while demanding someone film him and send it to every news station in the country’. Seriously, look it up, Woolwich soldier death, killer rants. Lee Rigby, or Riggers, as he was known to his friends, was back from tour, collecting for Help For Heroes, when two men ran him down, killed him, and desecrated his body. Two women stood up to both killers, holding his body to prevent further abuse to his last shell on this earth, praying over his soul. Then to one of his killers, when he stated that “he was going to war on London” they stood in his face, nose to nose, and stated, simple fact, that “he would lose, hundreds of us, one of you, you’ll lose.” A lapse back into our ‘keep calm and stand tall’ approach that saw us simply drawing lines on our legs during the war (we may not have had stockings, but we were damn well going to look good). I know huge amounts of people called for those women to receive a medal, and their response, classically british, was that “they weren’t heroes, they just spoke to a guy, and stopped a body being abused.” Classic.
I fell into that hole for a while, the unthinking resentment of a people made to look bad by the few. The few are not the many, the one does not represent the whole. Hell, if we looked at every group of people as the one infamous moments gave us, we’d be convinced that all Amish people were lunatics who murdered their families and ran round on all fours, barking. (That happened too, look it up, I was as shocked as you are.)
The simple fact is that what we don’t understand, or know, scares us. It shakes us on a base level, it’s the fear response that kept our ancestors away from orange and black ropes across a path, and away from spiders the size of our heads. If another species were to judge us by the things that make us infamous, they’d kill us all now, just to save the drama. We’re a species that makes others extinct, we kill our own kind to make a point, even vampires have rules against that. I truly believe that if football had been around as long as religion, it would be responsible for as many, just about, deaths as religion. Yes, my god might look different to your god, his god might sound different to her god, but seriously, is it really worth killing people for?
More often than not, the declaration that something is done in the name of a god, it’s not. The whole world knows about religion, even those places we call ‘uncivilised’, because we wear more clothes than they do, they have theirs, and we have ours. They don’t always agree, but they pretty much always correlate. The problematic fact is that Christians and Muslims have always hated each other, since before the crusades. Everything now is simply carrying the chips from our forefathers, but our shoulders are getting more and more bowed, if this carries on, we’ll soon be buried beneath a hatred we don’t understand or need.
Let’s have a bit of wisdom, please.