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Thursday, 23 July 2015

Ignorance - Insult or Opportunity?






IGNORANCE - 
lacking knowledge or information about something; 
not educated (Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary)



So if this is the definition of ignorance - 
why is it so many people are offended when some-one says they are ignorant??


I am a member of a few facebook sites specifically for people who love a person with 
Down syndrome, I never stop being bemused at people who get angry because 
some-one said something 'ignorant' about their child.

Before I had Miss Chloe, I thought all people with Ds needed to be locked away. 

I ooozed ignorance in every meaning of the word, I was a person who was not only ignorant herself, but also not interested in learning anything about the topic and was very vocal (if anyone would listen) about my views.

Miss Chloe rocked the very foundation of everything I stood for,
And this was the very best thing that could ever have happened to me!!!
 
From the time I bought her home and a wonderful person from the 
DS Assoc of Victoria came out to visit me (she had a spring in her step & a huge smile on her face), my ignorance around Ds and humankind started to melt away.

I am here to tell you, I never, ever get upset or offended when some-one says something ignorant about my child.


You know, something like: "She isn't severe, is she?", "Does she love music", 
"You're so lucky', they are so loving", "Will she grow out of it?", 
"Does she understand?", "Will she ever get married?" and on it goes................

You see, I promised myself I would never forget what I was like before I had Chloe
and these statements and questions are a great reminder of my past life, but they also give
me great clues that a person is genuinely interested in Miss Chloe and is humble enough to admit they don't know everything, but are open to be taught. 

And teach them is what I do well. I always feel honored when this happens, as I know with all my heart there will be one more person in the world who is a little more enlightened after our conversation.

It is never tiring and I find it very stimulating.

Everyone is ignorant about something -  YEP EVEN YOU!!!!
We just don't know everything about everything. Once you realise you are ignorant about something, you are given two choices:

1. Ignore the information and remain ignorant ( an insult for you and the other person )
2. Listen and learn. ( opportunity to see something in a different light and become aware )
  
I have just come back from visiting Northern Ireland. Until I went to Belfast, I had an entrenched opinion about the conflict that had taken place over there in recent history. I acquired these strong opinions and ideas from what I had seen on TV and read. 

Whilst there I was blessed to be taken on 2 tours, one in Belfast and one in Londonderry/Derry. WOW, what an eye-opener this was for me. Listening to people who have been personally involved in this crisis really made me see, 
I had a lot of mis-information.


I came away feeling very moved and with a massive mind-shift around the whole event and the people. It was the most inspiring feeling I have had for many years.

I am one of those people who now love to admit I am ignorant, as it opens up an opportunity for me to learn something new and to become a less judgmental person.

So the next time a person asks what you think is an ignorant opinion or gives an ignorant comment, see it as an opportunity to educate...not as an insult or drag.

REMEMBER WE WILL ALL BE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE TEACHERS IN THIS WORLD - STOP A MINUTE AND THINK ABOUT WHAT KIND OF TEACHER YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE........I WOULD LIKE TO BE A TEACHER WHO ENLIGHTENS PEOPLE.

suedymond.com



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