Did you see the Dilbert comic strip in the paper this past Sunday?
There was a staff meeting. A visiting consultant asked the assembled
managers what their most valuable asset was. Someone tendered the
idea that "workers" were the most important, but the consultant shot
that down. Instead, "IGNORANCE" was shown to be the key asset.
Ignorance on the part of the workers--they never realized that a better
job, for a higher salary, could be had at the firm right across the street.
And ignorance on the part of the firm's customers who never seemed
able to figure out that a better product could be had from the
competition for less money.
In the end, the consultant's recommendation was that everyone wear a
trash barrel over their heads to keep them safe and protected from the
wayward bit of knowledge they might accidentally encounter. Turns
out that the consultant was representing a plastic trash barrel
It wasn't just funny. it was insightful, summing up a vital truth
humorously. Rarely does a comic strip make me laugh out loud while
tickling my brain at the same time. This one did.
When I was a good Witness, I prided myself for being a first-rate
pupil. For many years, decades even, I faithfully lapped up all of the
governing body's wondrous words of "truth." Like those self-
proclaimed Holy Ones, I had answers, crystal clear and far beyond
even the slightest hint of doubt, regardless of the question, although I
was barely out of my teens. I knew it all. Since then I've grown a
little, slowly unburdening myself from the trash barrel that covered my
head, kept me safe from real truth, oh, so many years.
Funny how the more you learn, the more you realize how little you
know. If you're paying attention, it's not long before you become
aware of this never ending cycle -- the more you learn, the more in
touch you become with the depth of your ignorance regardless of the
subject matter. Like someone paradoxically said recently when it
comes to our on-going education: the longer you're on the road of
life, the further away the horizon appears.
Anyway, Dilbert made me think that if people choose to have a closed
mind they may as well be ignorant because the net effect is the same.
It's like stagnant backwater -- nothing new comes in, and what is there
is never refreshed or replenished. It's like walking around with a trash
barrel on your head. True, there's a certain safeness to having a closed
mind, to being like I was and having all the answers. It's a little
disconcerting to have to say, "I don't know" all the time. It's so cooler
to have a ready answer to every conceivable question.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not touting true ignorance, a total
absence of good sense and common reasoning skills, but rather a
mind-set that leads too many to the point that they refuse to even
consider new ideas and points of view, going into attack mode when
those are offered. Many here on this BB impress me, giving clear
evidence that they have used their time away from the org. wisely. Yet
even years of study can leave one devoid of common sense. Or
fairness. Or non-judgmentalism. It's possible to learn too much.
Fortunately, we were born with the solution to too much learnin' --
two ears and only one mouth. Before putting the latter in gear, use the
former to full effect. Listen, think, pause, reflect, reflect some more,
and remember. Remember that no matter what the subject or how long
you've studied it, you'll never know everything. It's a universal truth,
often forgotten but worth remembering.
It was comforting to have every question answered, back in those
halcyon days when we lived in that far-away 'spiritual paradise' of the
Judge, Nathan, and Freddie's making. But, we had to grow up and put
away childish things and face the harsh realities of the real world, a
place where there are seldom ready answers, painlessly arrived at.
Real life is hardly ever like that, and this message board definitely
AIN'T like that.
All we got here is the freedom to express ideas, some of them true.
todd, trying very hard to keep the barrel off his head
"I was going to buy a copy of "The Power of Positive Thinking,"
and then I thought: What the hell good would that do?"
______________-- Ronnie Shakes