“Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.”
― Benjamin Franklin
There is no way to move beyond our prejudices without humility; that being expressed in the comprehension and articulation of the fact that our great lack of knowledge should sober our tendency to pass judgement on things and people.
Education is no easy task. It takes effort and investment. Ignorance, on the other hand, is free to live by, but imposes a terrible cost; and sadly, when it comes to human intellect it is the default setting.
“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.”
― Robert Orben
If education is the challenge; then humility is the prerequisite. We should all realize that the benefits of getting to know new people and things are greater than the risks. If we know who we are, and are secure in our values, then conversations will serve to broaden our horizons and expand our networks. We take the good and discard the bad.
Wisdom would admonish us to press the issue of openness. Love would demand that we respect that each other’s perspectives. But engage we must. If the United States is to continue to strengthen then it must follow through on its founding declarations, as written:
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.Thomas Jefferson
How can we expand our perspective? Mark Twain once said:
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
― Mark Twain,
If we cannot travel outside the country then we can commingle with other Americans in our cities. And city dwellers can take a ride out into the country. America should be the one place on the planet where humanity can commingle freely and continue to expand our perspective.