Thank You for Innocence vs. Ignorance

Why do I guard innocence with a vengeance and despise ignorance with the same vengeance?

Are they not related in some way?

As a child, I heard a Pentecostal preacher say “To the innocent all is pure.”

I interpreted those words from the perspective of an innocent. They came in response to a question I had asked about people in the Amazon or other jungles who never got their souls saved by Jesus on account of they never even heard of Jesus.

I wondered if they would be sent to Hell by the preacher’s God. (Again, I was an innocent.)

Though I no longer consider Preachers to be the Ultimate Authority in my personal exploration of Humanity, Other Cultures, Anthropology, or the destiny of souls, I have never forgotten this statement.

To the innocent all is pure.

When I conjure up images of innocence I think of unicorns and fantasy scenes that correlate with childlike imagination. I see lambs and baby mammals with large eyes, untainted perfection, vulnerable entities—unscathed by mortality and it’s harsh truths.

Innocence has the implication of guiltlessness and lack of guile or cruelty.

Innocence is fragile. It cannot survive a full life.

Ignorance, on the other hand, somehow congers images of creepy guys in overalls with a mason jar full of moonshine and a mouthful of prejudices instead of teeth. Nothing pure about it. (except the alcohol content in the mason jar)

Ignorance is tough, wily, dirty, and full of potential cruelties that stem from a complete lack of information in regard to hygiene and basic social skills. It does not inspire a full life.

I conger these images of innocence and ignorance from a place within myself that is both Innocent and Ignorant.

My innocence, my lack of certain experiences, keeps me believing in magic, idealistic representations of life, and the purity of others. My innocence compels me to seek out the beauty in everything and guard that beauty like it was a wildflower that will never go to seed.

My ignorance, my lack of information, causes me to formulate half truths and limited views about people in overalls with moonshine jars. It makes me angry, afraid of things and people I do not know. It compels me to label and annihilate things that do not fit into the limited scope of my narrow aim of survival.

Maybe the only remedy for my battle between innocence and ignorance is to bring in a mediator that can give me more life experience and information.

Let’s call that mediator Compassion.

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~ by leakelley on January 7, 2011.

4 Responses to “Thank You for Innocence vs. Ignorance”

  1. “In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.” (Friedrich Nietzsche)

  2. “I conger these images of innocence and ignorance from a place within myself that is both Innocent and Ignorant.”

    What an amazing sentence, and so utterly truthful. I too have thought in similar fashion and never made that connection.

  3. “Maybe the only remedy for my battle between innocence and ignorance is to bring in a mediator that can give me more life experience and information.

    Let’s call that mediator Compassion.”

    i love these words.ü i haven’t really thought of that. thank you for the a wonderful idea.ü

  4. Thank you for writing this. 🙂

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