Following on my previous post–About Being Ignorant, and how that’s good, I would like to further discuss how being ignorant could be bad too.
When I was growing up, there’s a fun popular Japanese cartoon called Doraemon that I watched occasionally when I got to be at my friends’ house.
One of the characters in the cartoon has a nickname ‘Chubby Tiger’.
He loves singing and he wants everyone to listen to him. That’s fine. The problem is, he really can’t sing. Every time when he wants to sing, his peers will be terrified, frantically looking for earplugs. But instead of reflecting, he gets mad at those who don’t know how to ‘appreciate’ his singing, and this lack of self-awareness ultimately led to embarrassment on himself.
Of course, the catch here isn’t that he doesn’t know how to sing (he has other talents such as having great strength), but that he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. Self-awareness is the ability to know when something’s wrong. Or at least when something’s not quite right. If one is to do something and get negative reactions multiple times from various sources, yet still put the blame on others, then that is a clear sign of lacking in self-awareness.
As Socrates once said, the more I know, the more I know that I don’t know.
When we are ignorant of being ignorant, we can become conceited. We need to know our blind spots and be humble enough to admit them in order to harness the benefits of being ignorant.
Know what you don’t know.