Writing Journal of a Scientist: Absolute Nonsense Comes From Ignorance

These five words are what popped into my head during a creative writing exercise back in high-school during English class. It has been sitting in my writing journal ever since, but I always wondered as to the validity of such a statement. Is it not rather a statement of half-truth (or for that matter a half-lie)? Because, I don’t think absolute nonsense always comes from ignorance. Thus, it can only be applied to specific circumstances.


 

Caution Elephant Ahead Namibia Tanzelle Oberholster andDNAsci.wordpress
Caution: Elephants Ahead!

 

For example, it reminds me of a story that my high-school Biology teacher told us (repeatedly…): When you grab two biologists, blindfold them and stick them in front of an elephant, which neither scientists had ever seen before – how would they describe an elephant? One biologist has the elephant by the leg and exclaims: “An elephant is like a tree trunk!”. The other has ahold of its nose and declares: “This creature is like an earthworm!”, or snake, I can’t remember exactly. So here one can argue that nonsense was indeed the result of their ignorance, or rather their limited knowledge of the animal known as the elephant.


How would you describe an Elephant Tanzelle Oberholster andDNAsci.wordpress
How would you describe an Elephant?

 

Another example would be that Jenny had never heard of the folk tale that when you touch a frog you will get warts. One day Jenny finds a frog in her kitchen that has wondered through the backdoor from the garden. Upon seeing the frog, brave Jenny simply scoops up the squishy amphibian and promptly returns it to the garden where she releases it into the herb patch. Here, Jenny was not afraid of the frog, but rather showed a great amount of kindness towards it by returning Mr. Frog to his home. In this instance, the statement can almost be turned on its head, as to say: “Absolute kindness comes from ignorance”. Is that then not more preferable? That kindness is the result of ignorance rather than nonsense? Unless you associate kindness with nonsense, which would be quite depressing…


Frogs and Kindness Tanzelle Oberholster andDNAsci.wordpress
Show some kindness towards the next frog you meet

 

Therefore, I think that this statement is an example of one that should be applied in the right context. Most of us can agree that we always perceive ignorance as a bad state to be in. A state we have all experienced at one point in time, even more often then we would like to admit. Instead of associating ignorance with nonsense, should we not rather associate it with kindness? So the next time we find ourselves in an situation of which we are ignorant, and in realising this, maybe we should opt for a gentle act or a word of kindness. Even if it holds some imaginary personal risk.

 


All Pictures from Pixabay Free Images

  1. Elephant Caution: DrZoltan
  2. Elephant sunset: Coffy
  3. Frog & Rose: Kreutzfelder
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s