The Difference Between Ignorance and Stupidity…

I might as well write this now. I’ve thought about it before, but now I know the difference. What I am referring to is that line between being ignorant and just being stupid. This is what I came up with:

Being ignorant means, by definition, that you lack knowledge or comprehension of the thing specified. Being stupid, on the other hand, means that one is given to unintelligent decisions or acts. In one instance, you simply aren’t armed with knowledge and therefore cannot be reasonably expected to do the correct thing in a given situation. In the other, well, you just don’t have the ability to arm yourself with the knowledge necessary to do the correct thing. No matter what happens, you’re not going to be able to figure it out.

I met a shining example of the latter today. I’m at my desk on the telephone trying to listen to someone’s voicemail greeting so that I can leave a message for them. This lady, whom I’ve never met before, comes into my area and starts asking me questions about a print job. I am completely ignorant in this instance. Note, I had no knowledge of what she wanted, who she was, or why she was asking me questions. Ignorant.

Upon seeing that I was on the phone, most people would turn and wait until I hung up the receiver and asked what they needed. Most people would do that. But not this lady. This lady, instead keeps talking even as I glare at her to shut the #@$& up so that I can hear my phone call. Obtuse. Stupid.

When I finally hung up the phone, she was still hanging around the area. She had moved into another corner of the room and appeared to be searching for something. I asked her what she needed and she launched into some sort of speech, though I’m not sure it had the energy of an actual speech, it was more like absent-minded babbling. I still had no idea what she needed, who she was or why she had come to me. Ignorant.

She left, but then a few moments later, returned. This time, I had my purse, my briefcase and my keys in hand and I was ready to leave the building. Upon seeing this, the lady proceeded to ask more questions. I told her that I didn’t think I could help her with her problem and that I wasn’t necessarily sure who could. Perhaps she should ask someone else. Most people would say, yeah, I’ll try someone else. Not this lady. She continued asking me questions although I had made it quite clear that I was not the person who held the key to her dilemma. Stupid.

Hmmmm. I’m not sure how to recover from such an encounter. It almost had me doubting my own capacity, but alas, I feel much better now that I have shared the moment with you. Alas, you are ignorant no more. 😉

Until next time…

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