Tribute To Ignorance (Part 1)

By Ikenga Chronicles April 26, 2018

Tribute To Ignorance (Part 1)

— Okoli Arinze Evans

How does one advise a grown man to quit playing with fire? Even some moms will let the stubborn kid have his time, and then by getting burnt, learn his lesson. But it is a fact that adults are the hardest to teach.I had some real experiences with people during my service year, interesting stories I may still share as days go by.

Sometimes, I have friends who came to my apartment to pay visit, older friends sometimes, but corpers and students most times. Now, my dinning table is almost filled up with books, articles and presentations written by me. When most of these my friends got into my apartment for the first time and saw the heap of books, articles, presentations and art sketches on the table, and some of my favourite quotes which I pasted on the wall, some would surprisingly ask: “are you the person reading all these books?” Some others would exclaim: “hei! See book everywhere.” Some others will quietly and consciously avoid getting any close to the table. One boldly asked me one day: “do you have a girlfriend?” And then she went on: “I will never date a guy who reads too much books.” But there are my other friends, a handful of them, who would be thrilled to see the books, and to peruse through my stock; eventually borrowing one or two to read and return.

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According to William Ellery, every mind was made for growth, for knowledge, and it’s nature is sinned against when it is doomed to ignorance. The greatest threat to existence is a mind abandoned to the cold cove of ignorance. Ignorance is a mental disorder. A mind plague that is more deadly, more terrible, more unpopular than foolishness. A wise observer defined an ignorant person as one who knows nothing but isn’t aware that he knows nothing. But I believe that an ignorant person knows he knows nothing, but he neither accepts that he knows nothing, nor makes any attempt to know. Ignorance is not ‘unknowingness’; ignorance is a willful, blatant rejection of knowledge.

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I am terrified when I look at some youths of my generation; the future leaders of the nation. A very ‘popular’ news was released sometime ago in Nigeria, when many youth corp members could not write a simple application letter. Like most of other past national crises, we made jokes with it until we eventually forgot about it. But these are the teachers, lecturers, doctors, engineers, et tal, in just few coming years. I heard of a story about some guy who was told to visit google for his project materials, and he begged his supervisor for the address and phone number of Mr. Google.

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What can be used to qualify a young mind that has left his mental edifice unattended that the mind gets filled up with cobwebs, debris and vermins. The truth is that, some of my friends, after coming the first time never came close to my apartment again. They never wanted to encounter that ogre again. This is the sort of ignorance that is heavily fortified, and a mind that has been made impervious to learning, to knowledge. When someone expresses to you that he doesn’t know, and he doesn’t care, that is the most glaring symptom of ignorance; a willful choice of mental emptiness. You don’t have to avoid such persons, they will voluntarily take to their heels on their own. That was my tactics then. When I don’t want a particular person to come to the house anymore I simply raise a topic on any issue which needed facts, or tell him/her about a new book I just bought which I would like him/her to go through.

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I choose my words carefully writing this article because I have a goal I want to achieve through it: TO MAKE IGNORANCE SO DISTASTEFUL THAT EVERY NAIJA YOUTH DISENTANGLES HIMSELF OR HERSELF FROM IT AND SEEK KNOWLEDGE. Most naija youths waste 95% of their time ambling about aimlessly on social media, and the remaining 5% they dedicate to betting, Big brother show, telemundo or idle gossip as the case may be. Personally, most times I don’t chat with people on facebook, I read intelligent posts by my learned friends whom I follow, or on various profitable groups that I joined (so please don’t take it personal if I don’t reply your chats immediately I get them). I don’t mean that you shouldn’t converse with your friends, but according to some old champ, virtue lies in the middle; “wisdom is profitable to direct. ”

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I think the most ignored maxim down here is that knowledge is power. The debilitating potential of ignorance is what inspires me to lead this crusade against it. I can write an encyclopedia of the inherent merits of knowledge. Knowledge is the bed rock of existence. Thus, the dangers, benefits, and how to go about the acquisition of knowledge will be carefully detailed in the part two of this article.

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