Arrogance is the New Ignorance

Sarah Jenson, Staff Writer

No one gladly admits to being ignorant. Not knowing or understanding things is generally considered a bad thing, seeing as people are, you know, people, and being understood is a vital part of humanity.
One of the most exasperating types of ignorance is the, “I’m-in-harder-classes-than-you-so-nothing-you-have-to-say-is-of-any-value,” ignorant. Not only is this completely ludicrous, but it limits possibilities to understand another human being, as ignorance so often does.
Of course, ignorance is understandable in certain cases. No one gets mad at children for not always behaving in a socially acceptable way, and people generally excuse elderly people when they can’t work an iPhone. If someone doesn’t have experience with an idea, it’s harmlessly ignorant, and though it’s not preferable, it’s forgivable.
Nonetheless, ignorance isn’t always innocently misunderstanding a concept. The latest class offered on How-to-be-Ignorant-101 is being extraordinarily arrogant, and not just because the two words sound similar. Now ignorance isn’t just offered to people who don’t like education, but for people who do!
Arrogance alone can be tolerated. That is, until it’s coupled with an incessant desire to be right and a refusal to acknowledge other points of view. Nothing is more frustrating than a person who believes themselves to be on such a higher level of knowledge that anything anyone else says is automatically incorrect.
Not only is this as annoying as getting peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth, but it’s just as productive. Being arrogant in your own intelligence closes every door to further understanding and empathy. Every person has their own story, their own perspective, and their own story that could never be discovered due to a so-called-enlightened way of thinking that has no room for anything else.
Not to mention that a single philosophy is not correct for every person, even when said philosophy is presented by an incredibly knowledgeable person. It’s completely ridiculous to assume that every person needs a standardized way of life.
Being sure of your standards and ideals is not a bad thing. Everyone should have a firm set of values, no matter what they are. It’s only when there is no recognition that other viewpoints exists where it becomes a problem. Completely disregarding that more ideas exist beyond your own indubitably defined as ignorance.
In a high school setting, the people who tend to act this way are the truly academically intelligent students-the kids who take AP classes and get full rides into Stanford and have 36 ACT scores. These people are completely confident in their knowledge that they have no desire to admit they have something to learn from students around them. Ironic though it is, the people who would be most aghast at being called ignorant are some of the most ignorant students in the school.
In the words of Dr. Wayne Dyer, “The ultimate ignorance is the rejection of something you know nothing about yet refuse to investigate.” In math class, two negatives can make a positive, but with arrogance and ignorance? There’s nothing positive about that.