Ignorance This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     The citizens of the United States have many more opportunities than people from any other nation in the world. So why does it seem that lately, people are always unhappy with the status of our country on almost all issues? The reason could be that we elect the wrong politicians.

No one knows exactly what politicians will accomplish in office - regardless if they are Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, or Independent. But the people of the U.S. have access to a lot of information about the candidates, and can infer a politician’s views on important issues. Why does the “wrong” politician always seem to get chosen, then? Sometimes a bad politician cannot be avoided because all the others are no better.

I believe the main reason a poor candidate gains office is ignorance. Yes, I said it, we are ignorant. Ignorance is definitely not a quality that most want to have, nor do most think they possess it. But, the fact remains that every person who has ever lived has been ignorant about something.

Confucius said, “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.” I can relate to this, because it reflects how I feel all the time. I’m generally not an arrogant person, but I think I possess true knowledge according to Confucius’s point of view. One of my biggest pet peeves is when I am part of (or overhear) a conversation about someone’s point of view, and he cannot defend his position. When I ask someone his opinion, I hope that he has strong convictions, as well as moral reasoning. A person makes himself look rather dumb when he cannot back up his position on an issue.

One example of this happened when I was discussing the issue of gay marriage with a friend. His immediate response was, “I hate gay people.” That comment showed no knowledge of the topic and made me especially angry, mostly because he didn’t show any sensitivity toward homosexuals. I immediately think that this person must have heard his parents’ opinion and taken their stance with no thought. I have no problem with a person taking his parents’ position, but he shouldn’t do it because his parents told him to. A person should hold his own convictions and be able to analyze both sides of an issue.

I believe I am fairly good at this. I am not so narrow-minded that I think my belief is the only answer and I can understand other people’s points of view. In fact, I think I’m very open-minded, and enjoy discussing issues with others and listening to their points of view.

Ignorance is a trait many possess, and it’s almost in vogue right now. Most aren’t ignorant by choice, but rather are taught to be that way. Often children grow up in homes where their parents have no interest in current events, and, therefore, give their children no reason to learn about anything important. This needs to change for the U.S. to be a more knowledgeable country. If this happens, I think the people would make better decisions with their votes and therefore be much more content with the U.S. government.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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