The biggest killer of all time, ignorance, still persists and underlies the majority of problems we face. In our view, the true definition of ignorance is “not wanting to learn,” which has caused the death of millions and wiped out civilisations. “Not wanting to know” is at the core of individual problems, as well.
Ignorance or “not wanting to learn” causes pain in people’s lives, with devastating implications that result in tangible or intangible loss. It also has an enormous impact on the way we live, work, communicate, and generate value in our society.
Unfortunately, this killer disease continues to spread around the world at full speed, parallel to the advances in our cognitive capabilities and intelligence.
Going forward into the foreseeable future — the only way to succeed — we must recognise other critical factors that significantly impact our lives:
- The amount of information to which we are exposed every new day grows exponentially. Yet, our ability to learn is either idle or at most linear. Are we so overwhelmed that our minds and intellect cannot absorb more data, particularly if we can no longer decipher what is truth? How can we overcome this inability?
- The scope of knowledge in any field is transforming into a more complex contextual understanding. Without acknowledging that everything, ultimately, is connected, how can we envision the whole picture? How will we be able to identify the impact of our actions (and lack of action) on our families, communities, colleagues, and organisations?
- Current education systems are becoming obsolete much faster than we can comprehend. People perceive learning as a cumbersome activity and time-consuming effort due to lack of up-to-date and up-to-speed learning tools. If educators do not stay abreast of the rapid pace of change, how can they provide a strong foundation for students entering the world at large and the marketplace? Where is the initiative and drive to create the requisite tools?
- We increasingly put our trust in the hands of technology, hoping that technology alone will bring solutions to our problems. If technology fails us — and possibly alienate us further from ourselves and others — are we prepared to handle that eventuality?
The Need for Accelerated Learning
There is an urgent need to learn faster and understand as much as possible even deeper than we do today. Everything around us is speeding up except our learning process.
The prerequisite for that accelerated learning is to urgently learn about ourselves. Society should gear all education systems toward that aim. The deeper we learn and understand our inner lives, the faster will be the acceleration and the better our understanding of the world around us. The most relevant content is that within ourselves. Only when we comprehend what makes us tick as individuals will we be able to successfully address the intelligence within our realm and achieve better living conditions, relationships, communities, and, ultimately, fulfilling lives. How can we even entertain the thought of being intelligent in our world if we do not have a glimpse of our inner selves?
The Need for Action Is Now
There is little time to think and decide. We need to act. Technological changes are rapidly transforming the way we interact with the world; change happens very “suddenly.” A word with many attributes, “suddenly” involves the concepts of “surprise” and “newness” and “uncontrollable.” Suddenness represents and breeds change, provoking immediate action and cultivating authenticity.
We must continuously remind ourselves that knowledge is our currency and understanding is power. We need to act on our understanding of ourselves to design a roadmap that leads out of “not knowing” and eradicates ignorance — starting from within ourselves — to create better futures for ourselves and all others. With this roadmap, we, as individuals and together, can help society and our communities minimise the hidden costs that result from self-ignorance.