Friday, October 10, 2008

Common Sense and Ignorance

I had a conversation with my father one time about my purpose in life. He expressed to me that he always felt since I was a baby that my purpose in life was to help people...not just help them like, "Oh, let me carry that bag for you" but help them see things they never saw before, hear things that fell upon their deaf ears, and realize their purpose in life, in addition to the common understanding of what "helping" someone is. To hear him say that made me feel far more loved THAT day than any day prior. Why? Because for the first time in my entire life, I felt like my father REALLY did know me as a person and why I just effortlessly sought to help anyone and everyone who would let me. There was something he said that I still think about to this day...he said that because he realized my purpose in life, there was one thing that he prayed incessantly on and that was that I be spared from the pain I would suffer because I have this ability to help people where others can't.

Well, unfortunately, his prayers didn't spare me of that pain 100%. In my efforts to help people, I KNOW that I MUST understand them, no matter how ridiculous their behavior might seem to me. Especially those I interact with on a daily basis, I must understand. When you understand someone, that does not mean you have to agree with their thoughts, actions, and value systems; simply means you can look at them and clearly see why they have come to whatever conclusion in life that they have. I've learned that you must exude fairness at all times when doing this. If I want people to understand me and accept me for who I am, undoubtedly, I must return the favor.

As a kid I dreamed of a place where fairness was rampant and everyone believed in it. As an adult I had the painful realization that this place in my dreams might not ever exist. The more I understand human nature and how they choose to interact with one another, the more I see a self-serving spirit that prevails. Enter common sense and ignorance.

According to the dictionary (not my own interpretation thereof), common sense is "sound practical judgment" that is common to those that are common to you. So what happens when someone is raised differently or hasn't had the opportunity to have the same experiences as you in life? Does that mean they do not possess common sense? No. It simply means that your common sense and theirs might not see eye to eye at all times. You are ignorant of what their knowledge is and vice versa. 

According to the dictionary (again, not my own interpretation), ignorance IS NOT stupidity (contrary to WHATEVER and WHOEVER told you it was); ignorance is the lacking of knowledge/information, not being educated, aware or informed on something. So it is possible for people to be ignorant of what YOUR common sense is because it isn't so common to them. Enter my fairness dream. My dream was that people would make the effort to understand that EVERYONE is different and therefore should not be looked at negatively because they know something to be different than you. My reality is that most people do not give a damn if you operate differently due to your life experiences; there is no room for mistakes with other people in their minds. 

It saddens me that these same people want you to see why they behave a certain way but would never consider that other people behave certain ways because that's in their makeup. It has a lot to do with what is common to them. You might grow up in the same neighborhood, city, state, country, but that doesn't mean we are all exposed to the same things that would allow you to have the same outlook on people and life. So, the next time you think something SHOULD be common to someone, stop and think...maybe it isn't that common to them and they have to learn it...just like you. Common sense of things that are supposedly common is not something you are just born with; it is something that you have to learn, most times through trial and error.

The next time you want to call someone ignorant, make sure you aren't really meaning they are stupid. Ignorance is a part of life. I don't know everything and neither does anyone else so at some point in your life, you will be ignorant too.

I still dream of that place where fairness will reside and who knows, maybe one day it will exist. But until then, I'll continue to understand people for the unique human beings they are and appreciate them for the diversity they fill the earth with....and attempt to get in where I fit in.

Finishing my coffee now...

3 points of view:

Anonymous said...

I just knew one of these posts would relate me and you in some way and some form...we need more minds like you...oh! I added you as an Affiliate on my site ( You don't have to return the favor, I just wanted the people who are associated with me to at least stumble upon your inspirational vitamins and want to think outside the box for a change...or just use "common sense" lol

Again...not Anonymous, it's Kaylan lol

Assertive Wit said...

thanks for reading Kaylan AND for the plug :)
I was looking at your site at work but you know how its Fort Knox over here and we can't venture off to extracurricular sites at random...I have to wait until I get home to look at everything because some pages wouldn't load all the way...darn CNNA LOL

Ms_Slim said...

It kinda sounds like when thought about so deeply, we can say that there's no such thing as real common sense ya know...because everyone is so different and no two people had the EXACT same experiences, etc that can affect their outlook on certain things.

Anyway, great post. I'm still looking for my "grand purpose". I think it's to help people too...I just have to be willing to let my shield down a little and purge through my identity. I havent done that yet. Not too sure when that'll come.....

Glad you found your purpose. I feel as though those that have a driven purpose to help others are some of the most awesome people because their beauty shines within who they help. (I wasnt talkin bout you, just helpers in general LOL)


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