Monday, December 1, 2008

Ignorance...or disregard?

We've all heard the saying, "Ignorance is bliss." The other day I discovered that I often misuse that phrase and I would bet this is the case with most of us. Here's what I mean.

I went to a local grocery store the other day and pulled into a parking spot near the cart island. There was an empty cart sitting next to, but OUTSIDE, the cart island! Ignorance or disregard?

In the same parking lot (and on the same trip) as I sat in my pick-up truck waiting for my wife, a man driving another pick-up pulled into the spot next to mine, leaving only about 2 feet between our vehicles. As the man exited his truck, he swung his door open, hitting my truck. Fortunately his door had one of those plastic trim pieces that actually made contact with my vehicle, so it didn’t leave a mark. However, it did hit hard enough to make an audible noise that I heard from inside my truck, over the music playing loudly. The man then closed his door and went into the store as if nothing happened. Was this ignorance or disregard?

Whenever I go to any of the large stores that provide “cart islands” I always try to park next to or near the cart island, so I don’t have to go far to get rid of the cart once I’m done with it. So the other day, I parked next to a cart island at Wal-Mart. As Joan and I returned to our vehicle with our purchases, I noticed a woman unloading her cart into her vehicle that was parked next to the cart island opposite of us. After we unloaded our cart and placed the cart inside the cart island, we got into the truck and sat there for a minute watching this woman. I kid you not, she finished unloading her cart, got into her vehicle, and pulled away leaving the cart she had used set exactly where she finished with it; 4 FEET AWAY FROM THE CART ISLAND! Yes this really happened! Was this ignorance or disregard?

I have one more thing to mention. I was caught speeding the other day, an offence for which I was cited. Afterward I thought about my response to the officer when he asked if I knew why I was pulled over. I was convicted of my response and the truth is that I was blatantly speeding. Was this ignorance or disregard?

Conclusion: the dictionary defines ignorance as the condition of being ignorant; the want of knowledge in general, or in relation to a particular subject; the state of being uneducated or uninformed. In all the cases mentioned none of us were uneducated or uninformed, so therefore we cannot plead ignorance. The truth is that in each of these situations the offender completely disregarded anything or anyone around them. The man that hit my pick-up knew full well that he did it, but chose to continue on like nothing had happened. The woman parked next to the cart island knew full well where she was parked, but disregarded this fact and proceeded complete disregard for others. And yes, I completely disregarded the law being fully aware of the speed limit!

Ignorance? Absolutely not!