Ignorance may not be bliss after all.

Ignorance is such an interesting issue, it is also a behavioural pattern that affects our own wellbeing and that of our immediate and broader environment directly. Ignorance is our way to 'deal' or not deal with problems we are faced with. The more complex the problem, the more we are prone to ignore it.
I chose ignorance to write about today because, I believe if we can learn to be less ignorant in general, we will live better lives and we will have a better, more positive impact on our surroundings and fellow humans.

First we need to define ignorance.
According to Wikipedia, there are two basic types, Vincible ignorance is, ignorance that a person could remove by applying reasonable diligence in the given set of circumstances. This is ignorance by choice. All it takes is decisiveness and a bit of character strength to defeat it. When you stop ignoring all the negative effects smoking has on you and on others, it becomes easy to stop smoking, which leads to a healthier lifestyle and increased wellbeing. On the flipside, you can begin to ignore or question your own reasons FOR smoking, with the same effect, ironically.
Invincible ignorance, is ignorance which a person is either entirely incapable of removing, or could only do so by efforts beyond what can be expected, or superseding our abilities. As an example, climate change, or mass migration are unsolvable for a single person, or a small group, so our mind sets up for ignoring it, to help us live our lives, and deal with issues we have power over.

I believe, we are ignorant, because we possess an Ego.
Usually we are ignorant toward other peoples believes or needs, in order to avoid, possibly having to to make changes to our own comfortable set of believes or to our habitual situation. Some of us don’t like change too much. Ignorance keeps us from reasoning objectively, in order to not having to concede an argument, or incite change in our comfortable lives.
For instance, say you have been sick, and off work for a couple of weeks. Your roommate / life partner begins to complain about your laziness/inaction. Now you ignore his pleads for you to listen to him, because you know well that he has a point. Admitting this, however, would entail, you having to get up from the couch, taking a shower, cleaning up and becoming active again. You would have to give in, which we often mistake for a loss, a loss of face. Our Ego can be our own greatest obstruction from being happy.
Of course, if there is a serious threat ahead, one we know we can not avoid and which will most likely mean our demise, then we decide (or our mind semi-subconsciously decides for us) to be ignorant, to avoid the fear and the stress, the danger ahead entails. Thus the phrase ‘ignorance is bliss’. If we don’t see it, it isn’t happening. This is ignorance by choice.
Humans are ignorant toward climate change, because, if we accept the seriousness of it, we would have to make drastic, maybe uncomfortable changes in how we live our lives. (sell the car, ride the bike more often, stop eating meat, put photovoltaics on the roof) We often fail to see the advantage in overcoming our own ignorance. In this case, an end of fossil fuel burning, would also result in cleaner air and water, cheaper, and more widely spread, locally produced energy (eventually) an end to energy conservation, reduced warfare for resources, less migration, better health and so much more. We don’t need climate change, we have so many other reasons for living healthier and sustainably. Ignoring the climate issue, keeps us from being able to reap the good that would come from resulting change. Ignorance is not a bad thing per se, but we need to be aware of it and question its validity and justification every time, or we lose touch with reality.
Many initially peaceful arguments turn aggressive and become futile, after one side begins to feel an imminent defeat, and with that a loss of face. The fear of loss of face is irrational and unnecessary. Try to see an argument not as serving to find a winner, but to find the truth.
The irony behind ignorance is two-fold. The literal winner comes out of an argument having gained nothing except pride, which leads to a stronger ego, which can in turn increase the danger of us behaving ignorantly. The actual 'winner' in an argument, is the literal loser, for he has gained knowledge.
Ignorance is ironic for another reason, as usually, after we see the light and overcome our own weaker self, and shed our ignorance, we actually begin to change. We realise, that change does us good if we incite it and give it its direction. This is when our friends tell us with a grin on their face, ‘I told you so.’

I invite you to discuss this on my blog, how do YOU see this issue?

Alexander, www.thedaywedecide.net/blog