This I Believe

kyle - USA
Entered on November 30, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that knowledge is the key to understanding the world us, and ignorance is the door that locks that understanding away from us. You often hear the phrase “ignorance is bliss”. I ask how so? I believe ignorance breeds hate. Would America have needed the civil rights movement or even women’s suffrage if they had a better knowledge of who the people were? Ignorance led America to believe that women were weaker and blacks were more stupid than their white male counterparts. If Hitler had a better knowledge of the Jewish faith; would the Holocaust have ever happened? Or, would we have ever needed to fight World War II?

I myself am ignorant to many cultures outside of my own, and because of that have formed many inaccurate biases towards them. If I do not overcome my ignorance, what then happens? Am I going to pass it along to the next generation and let them follow in my footsteps as ignorant people? Possibly taking that ignorance to the next level and preaching hate to others; which could one day lead to more wars, death and destruction.

No, instead I will become aware that I am ignorant and begin to fill myself with the knowledge needed to overcome my biases. I refuse to let my children grow up thinking that opinions are fact and what they are told is the only way it can be. Even if I am the one telling them it’s that way. I will teach them to think critically and independently so that they can gain knowledge and develop their own informed opinions.

I believe this is the first step in obtaining understanding of the world we live in, and possibly peace.