I used to think being wise meant knowing everything there is to know. Then I got tired and stressed with education and realised this notion was absolutely ridiculous, simply because it is not possible. What I found in sixth form (college) is that too many people have too many opinions – which made me question strongly what I should be seeing and believing. Most importantly from this experience, I’ve learned I don’t have to know any of those opinions. Instead this familiar saying has become accustomed to my inner workings:
Ignorance is bliss.
A memory returned to me earlier this week that would tie in nicely here. I went to a Christian primary school. It wasn’t strict but we weren’t taught much about other religions. Of course, this didn’t make me unaware to other religions or think Christianity was better. I never considered there to be an issue with people having different beliefs to each other – until. One day I asked one of my classmates why she believed in God. She answered “because I have to”. A little dazed I asked her, “So would you still believe in him if you didn’t have to?”. Honestly, the look of fear on her face still gives me chills. When I asked her to think about not believing she began to tremble and strongly refuse to answer, because she had to believe in God. This was the first time I became aware of religious issues.
Another example, once I got to sixth form – in a less direct way than I will put it, one girl told me “we are not equal because we are women.” Up until this point I really hadn’t noticed. Suddenly I could make myself feel inferior to a man just sitting next to him. So I became aware of gender issues.
Some people would call these experiences “conscious awakenings” or (self-proclaimed) martyrs might say I’m finally seeing the truth. For a while I thought this too.
Now? I’ve realised the only people who had an issue were the ones choosing to believe there is an issue. Saying ‘I’m not equal because I’m a woman’ is admitting you believe that to be true. Without a second thought, I never had doubt. I think as hard as we try we will only ever see the world from our own eyes. As much as we’d like to help others we just can’t know what they’re thinking, yet this thought will shape everything they see whether it be bad or good. If they believe they are unequal, they will be unequal. If I walk out with the belief that there are no barriers my mind will not be able to break, I can see that the world is balanced and equal and good. At least this is a kind of wisdom I’ve found, without having to know anything at all.
Here’s another handy philosophy:
We must be the change we wish to see.
So for now I will step off my soapbox and remain peaceful. Goodnight my friends.