If the cause of ignorance is not proportional to education or societal factors, then why are people oblivious to the world around them? I’ll admit, I had been perplexed by this very issue myself until I found the answer in one of the most unlikely of places. I was reading an article on Cracked named 5 Famous Songs Everyone Thinks Are by the Wrong Artist by Gladstone. In this article, Gladstone mentions that many people think Cat’s In the Cradle by Harry Chapin is actually performed by Cat Stevens. He posts a comment from Youtube that essentially says that it doesn’t matter who wrote the song because all that matters is the music. Gladstone, then, follows it up with this awesome rant:
Yeah, what does it matter? Music is music. Who cares? I’ll tell you who cares. People who do not suck. People who know things. People who care about knowing things. I have to believe we are not so far gone as a people that it’s become somehow uncool to care about knowing things. I always thought that was the very definition of intelligence — not actually knowing, but caring to know. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe that’s a bad definition, but I’m pretty sure being hostile to knowledge is a perfect recipe for stupidity.This rant got me thinking about why people just refuse to know things and learn and I found my answer: Laziness. This might seem like too simple an answer for a seemingly complex issue, but bear with me. Proverbs 15:19, “The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.” Whenever we see slothful in the Word, it is talking about laziness. This passage in Proverbs 15:19, brings out a great mind picture. A hedge of thrones blocks the way and makes it hard to see through to the other side. This is exactly how one who is ignorant can be seen as viewing the world, not understanding much.
While public ignorance might seem like a recent problem because everything always seems to be better in yours or my day, I believe laziness is one of the basest problems mankind has always had. Have you ever wondered, why do people have to be ruled by government? This is one of the great questions of history and the ruling class is as old as time itself it seems. Well, let’s take a look back at Proverbs in verse 19:24, “A slothful man hideth his hand in his bosom, and will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.” In this passage we see that the lazy person is afraid to think and do for himself or herself.
Fear and laziness go hand in hand as we see the “slothful man hides his hand” meaning the lazy person wants no accountability. Fear of accountability has led to the less lazy among men to rule the others and people seem just fine with it.
Fear of accountability is not the only reason laziness has caused people to rule over others. The vast majority of people don’t really want to think for themselves because it requires a lot of work and thus they are perfectly happy for others to think for them. Why is television so popular? It’s popular because television feeds thoughts into human minds and, thus, no work is required to watch a favorite show. This is also the same concept of why Socialism is so attractive to a large part of the population. Why worry about the little stresses of life when the state will deal with it for you?
When realizing the role of laziness in history, it becomes clear how a country like Germany could have blindly followed Hitler or how the Soviets could follow Stalin. Hitler and Stalin did not require people to output anymore thought or work then what was basic. Not only that, but they took the resources of the least lazy people and gave it to the laziest.