To build a beloved community in this wounded world we should get rid of the excuse of ignorance that plagues society. In this day in age we often hear many discussions about different opinions, cultures, and how certain people act. Many of these discussions are associated with derogatory or negative connotations towards different types of people. I believe this is due to ignorance, a lack of knowledge or information. Even in political and global affairs, people make assumptions about how other people act, behave and experience life. This ignorance leads to conflicts. Instead of understanding one another and talking about issues, people argue and insult each other due to an unwillingness to listen and learn. From various media sources on the internet and news outlets we are witness to quarrels further dividing people instead of bringing them together. Even Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. acknowledged the danger of ignorance saying, “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” If we keep arguing then no progress is going to be made and more conflict will arise.
These prejudices, stereotypes and microaggressions stem from assumptions based on appearance, speech, dialect, and gestures which foster beliefs because people do not know or appreciate other people and do not want to understand their culture. Again such assumptions are prone to ignorance and not based in truth. To build a beloved community I suggest we eliminate the excuse of ignorance that allows for various assumptions to be made about different cultures and societies around the world.
There are many ways to combat ignorance in society including asking questions about different cultures, researching, and interacting with people. These basic actions can help ease tensions, perhaps creating a bridge where we can discuss meaningful solutions rather than spawning more conflict. If I have a certain understanding of you as a person, I can feel empathy and therefore help compose a new solution that can help both of us. By asking questions, you can further your knowledge in a more meaningful way. Asking for clarification can ease tensions and foster transparency rather than reinforcing the notion that only one person or one idea is right all the time. By eliminating the excuse of ignorance we create bridges to foster understanding and bring people closer together. Through this we can make a difference and can build a beloved community in our wounded world.
Name: Joshua C. Lewis
School: Graham High School
Church: St. Matthew United Methodist Church
Pastor: Rev. Rodvegas Ingram