“Daniel Radcliffe reveals his top 3 celebrity crushes” or “Here’s how much it costs to book a Tesla” or loads and loads of articles on how to crack your exams; the internet is filled with these commentaries and we cannot stop ourselves from diving in. We want to be the one who knows everything, but the beauty lies in the simple fact that you would still fit in if you didn’t.
Ignorance is sometimes mistaken for stupidity, yet voluntary ignorance in itself is a sign of wisdom.
It is impossible to skim through every article and know everything (it would be unwise to think otherwise). A vast amount of information is added to the internet every day; some of it is relevant, while others are simply an extended version of the truth, some are simply buttered lies, and others are just rumors that have become facts. The secret is to accept that you cannot and do not need to know everything. The idea is to question whether or not what you’re reading right now is truly essential. There’s grace in knowing and grace in not knowing.
We’ve been taught that not knowing anything is a terrible thing and that knowing anything is always beneficial, yet our brain can only process so much information. We bombard it with irrelevant data and jumble it up, focusing more on the quantity of data we have than the quality of data.
It’s sometimes better to disregard a few pieces of information rather than go through everything you come across. To be clear, ignorance is not a lack of knowledge, it is the space that allows knowledge to fit in. And when we recognize that we don’t know everything and never will, we open the doors to new possibilities and progress. When we believe we know everything there is to know, we close these new doors of possibilities. The key to growth is humility, and while “there is humility in ignorance, there can also be immense pride in knowing”. Some people get content with their assumption that they already know everything and while we seek expert opinions we tend to avoid those who brag about their knowledge and put themselves on a pedestal. Humble people are aware of their knowledge and do not boast about it, because they recognize that we all came into the world knowing nothing and acquired knowledge in some way or another. People don’t grow by knowing about a lot of things, they grow by understanding what is important and what isn’t, by dwelling on areas that are useful to them, and by ignoring irrelevant pieces of information.
When we try to cram more knowledge into our heads than our brains can process, “information overload” occurs, which disrupts our mental serenity as well as our capacity to comprehend and make decisions. There’s beauty in not knowing something because it allows you to grow, and progress comes from acceptance. Acceptance of the fact that it’s okay to not know everything, and dwell more on the issues (than you already have) that aren’t as significant and are only robbing you of your mental peace.
With the advent of technology and endless data, ignoring unimportant inputs and separating facts from a well-articulated piece of writing has become even more difficult. However, there are a few things we can do to prevent becoming overloaded with irrelevant details:
Finally, the beauty of ignorance is recognizing that we don’t know everything and that ignorance is a state of mind that exists somewhere between not knowing and knowing a great deal.