"The Doors of Wisdom are Never Shut" / Ignorance

The Doors of Wisdom are Never Shut - Ignorance

The Benjamin Franklin National Memorial is located in the rotunda of The Franklin Institute. Between the years 1732 and 1758, Benjamin Franklin continually published Poor Richard's Almanack. It contained the calendar, weather, poems, sayings and astronomical and astrological information. Franklin also included mathematical exercises, and a repository of aphorisms and proverbs.

Many of the maxims that appeared on the almanac continue to be used in American English today. The quote "the doors of wisdom are never shut" from Poor Richard exemplifies a recurring subject in the almanac of satirizing ignorance and stressing that learning is a lifelong process - principles with which Benjamin Franklin lived his whole life: "For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise".

I was asked the same old question, "isn't ignorance bliss?", this time by someone that read the post titled Anti-Intellectualism from a few days ago. The short answer is, how many people are there who are unaware, uninformed and uneducated and are doing well? For each person who still manages to live in a bubble of ignorance, one can observe tens suffering because their bubble has burst. On the other hand, when people ask this question, most are actually asking about the consideration, the responsibility, and the confusion that knowledge brings. The ignorant after all are not confused, considerate nor are they responsible - free from these "complications", they seem to be happier, at least on the surface.

In it's simplest definition, wisdom is making the best use of knowledge. When knowledge is used wisely, confusion recedes. If, however, we consider that we may only be wise in some situations and unwise in others, then the above quote from Benjamin Franklin gives us a hint on how we may "handle" knowledge; by constantly refining what we know and not fearing to change our opinions.

Song of the Day: Take Five - The Dave Brubeck Quartet (1961)
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