This I Believe: Ignorance

Jake - Pewaukee, Wisconsin
Entered on April 21, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

People always say to me, that someday, I will figure myself out. And I always reply “Why?” I do not understand why someone would want to know the absolute truth of his world. To find the truth, I believe, is to become entrapped by it.

Knowledge is power. But ignorance is purpose. Without an unknown, how do I have algebra homework? Without an unknown, for what would science exist? Without the greatest unknown ever unknown to man, death, why would we have religion? To be without a purpose in life, is to be without a life. If I know who I am, why should I try to act outside of what is expected of me? I would lose all spontaneity. My life would become a pointless, premeditated, and predictable storybook without a plot.

Without ignorance, there are no questions to ask, no answers to find. Without ignorance, we gain what makes us Humans, but lose what makes us alive. We lose the ability to learn, to grow, to evolve! Without ignorance, I know, without any hope of change, growth… or escape, who I truly am. Without ignorance, I am no longer blissfully unaware of that which I do not want to know. Without ignorance, I can no longer hope to something greater, hope for something more fulfilling, or hope to become who I want to be.

As Erik Erikson says, “Hope is both the earliest and the most indispensable virtue inherent in the state of being alive. If life is to be sustained hope must remain…” Without ignorance, we have no hope. Without hope, there is no life. If I must believe in something tangible, it is life. I believe in the creation, destruction, and sustainment of life. I believe in ignorance because I believe in myself. I do not know exactly who I am, but I know I exist, I know that I am life. I have my own hopes and aspirations. I am ignorant, and therefore, I have a purpose.

It is interesting to me, that some people may waste their entire lives searching for the purpose of life. They become so focused on why they are here, rather than what they could be doing. By searching for the purpose of their existence, they lose their purpose for living. I know in my heart that my purpose for living is purely being alive. And while I know these things, I believe I know nothing.