Recently, I posted a meme on Facebook regarding the anniversary of the witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts. I mentioned on this post that ignorance is still killing the innocents. A few days later, I woke to thoughts of a scene from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. More specifically, the Alastair Sims’ movie version with the final scene between Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghost of Christmas present.
In this scene, the ghost opened his robe and charged Mr. Scrooge to look upon the children. He then stated, “This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.”
Thomas Gray’s poem, Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College, would have us believe that ‘ignorance is bliss’. However, ignorance and its complacency will halt education and can thus lead to fear and hate.
We live in a much enlightened time and yet, people remain ignorant by choice. They will not do what they should to educate themselves to other ways of life, other beliefs. Many people believe that their way is the only way and therefore, they will not give way to even acknowledging that other ways exist and do quite well.
Ignorance led to the terrorist attacks on the United States, September 11, 2001. Ignorance led to the terrorist train bombings in London, July 7, 2005. Ignorance led to hunting down and killing Arabs in Iran, Afghanistan and other Muslim countries around the world in the wake of these and other terrorist events.
Keeping our minds closed to all but our own beliefs will keep the fear and hate ruling the world. Surmising that only caucasian people of certain heritage are worthy to live and dominate the globe will force all of us to repeat some of the darkest times Earth has ever known. Brutality and violence does not solve anything. Denigrating and disparaging those who are not like us only shows how little we value ourselves and our beliefs.
All it takes is one person. One person can begin to open their mind to the possibilities of living on this amazing planet with every other human beings and creatures without regard for the differences we have. One person can choose to respect himself by respecting the other people with whom he shares the very air he breathes. When one person makes a conscious decision to show respect and learn from his fellow man, this attitude will then move on to the next person and before we know it, the world will be living more harmonious than it ever has.
It takes just one person to reach out to learn more than what has been taught and to then spread the truths. I actively choose to learn and grow. I reach out my hand in trust. Will you take my hand and keep the chain going or will you choose to take a sword and remove my hand from your sight?
Beware, this boy called Ignorance.