"Ignorance can be fixed, stupidity is forever."
Boy was I pissed. Like, really frustrated to the point of “screw this” this whole thing isn’t worth it. That kinda of pissed.
I was 10 minutes in on a conversation that I really didn’t want to be involved with and all I wanted was to enjoy my drink, at this Christmas party.
Is that too much to ask?
It always starts out the same; the pleasantries, the “nice to meet you’s” etc.
And then the tide turns when it get to the dreaded question.
Yes that question. The one that most people ask, and then move on to the next thing.
But not for me. No sir.
80% of the time, that question leads to another question and then to an emotional baggage dump.
For the other 10% its a reason to argue a point, and the last 10% is a simple, that’s cool, with an accompanied look of “I don’t really understand what you are telling me."
So here I was listening to all guys emotional baggage and why he used to go to Church and now doesn’t. And then he asks me questions about Church and when I begin to explain, he argues my point.
Frustrating as hell when all I want is to enjoy my drink, talk College football or superficial things.
And to make things worse, the guy wasn’t really listening to my explanations to His questions.
And that’s when it hit me: “Ignorance can be fixed, Stupidity is forever.”
That was one of many the quotes written in my "quote journal" in high school.
I guess I wouldn't call it a quote journal so much as a place to collect cool sayings. And of course this in the time before the Pinterest, and memes and all that cool internet age stuff.
Back in the day, I had my book of quotes.
I realized that this guy didn’t want answers. He didn’t want to change. He wanted a venue to dump all his spiritual and emotional baggage regarding his faith life. He wanted to vent his Church anger issues.
And here I was talking with a stupid person whom I thought was just ignorant.
But that’s not what go me angry. What got me was that I realized…
I was the stupid person.
This was the umpteenth time I was caught in this situation, frustrated, irritated, etc. and I didn’t even realize how I got here.
But thanks to that high school quote, I remembered that all I need to do is reflect on what happened, look at my response and try something different.
And that is how one moves from stupidity to ignorance. And slowly as I encountered “The question” over and over, I made small changes so that now, I can handle the situation with ease.
Why do I write about this?
One of the Spiritual Works of Mercy is to “Instruct the Ignorant.” Looking back at my life, I see that this has been one of my main callings. It explains my teaching vocation both formally and informally.
So to do God’s work, we must instruct the ignorant. However, to do that, you must figure out who they are. And if you are Kick in the Faith person, the first place to look is at yourself.
I’ll write more later about how to figure out the stupid from the ignorant… but for now...
Look at where you are in your life, and where you feel frustrated, irritated. That may be a sign you’ve encountered some self stupidity.
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By the way, the question is: “So what line of work are you in?”