Ignorance is mankind’s enemy

There is a great gulf between what one may think and what one may know. It has been said that when a person thinks they know enough, is when they quit learning anything new. Generally it’s easier to just ignore things that are the easiest to ignore and get on with our lives. As I’m out of the mainstream of life now, there’s not much to do except think about things.

I’ve been wondering lately about just what is intelligence. When we speak of intelligence, we think of an active, conscious, awareness. We think intelligence is not just a consciousness, but a consciousness with an insightful awareness. That of course rules out all vegetation, at least in our perception; but a product of intelligence is know-how. The more know-how anyone or anything has, the more intelligence we credit to them, or it. Know-how is a natural product of intelligence.

All vegetation obviously has know-how, with or without consciousness. It knows how to grow, how to nourish itself from its environment, and how to reproduce itself. Because of its immobility, vegetation has help from bees, butterflies, breezes and other outside influences in many cases of reproduction. I present this idea to justify the fact that even vegetable life has an intelligence of some kind. Actually, each life in existence has just enough intelligence to support its basic life’s function, no more and no less. That limitation keeps them all in their place. We don’t worry about a potato revolt.

We, as well as potatoes, have no idea how we perform some of our necessary life functions, but humanity is an exception over all creatures in its intelligence capacity. As we observe the continual growth of humanity over the centuries, it would appear that the potential for intelligence in the human has no limit. A human seemingly has the potential for unlimited intelligence in whatever channel they may pursue. Our great advantage is in that we have the ability to pass on to each new generation the know-how we have acquired over the preceding centuries.

In the days of prehistoric man, there were no schools to train him in the understandings gained from the previous centuries. He doubtless had more understanding than we are aware of, being a self-taught creature. The seed of genius in our forefathers has given birth to the understandings we have gained over the centuries. One human may not have the potential to know it all, but as a civilization, as a cooperating, intermingling, mentality, we know enough to fulfill our life function. Therein may rest the destiny of humanity on earth.

I heard the other day on television, and I’m only paraphrasing here. “Our task is not just to make the world a better place for our children, but to make our children better caretakers of the future world.” I’m sure when they grow up they will be.

Our gift, like the gift of every other form of life, is an intelligence enough to fulfill the destiny for which we have been created. Our gift is not to struggle to dominate one another, but to gain an understanding of ourselves, to be the cooperative stewards of the world.

Over the centuries we have been progressing in that task perhaps slowly, but we have been progressing. We have now advanced enough in our growth to be on the verge of launching a new future for mankind.

Humans are born with a lust for learning. It is instinctive with young children. Humanity has not been gifted with intelligence to be kept and cared for in the barn like cattle, and milked daily for their framer’s profit. We are not incapable children to be cared for and looked after by the bureaucrats in government.

A fulfilled human is one who has done something productive with their life. Humanity was not put on earth to be dominated by the egos of tyrants. In our favor is our intelligence; Our only enemy is ignorance. May God bless America.

Richard Westlund is a Collins resident. Send comments to editorial@observertoday.com

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