Ignorance Is an Ugly Word

April is Autism Awareness month, and every year at this time I think about writing something. Typically, it never works out, as I get sidetracked by other ventures or just life in general.

This year, however, I think it’s important to address one issue we constantly see in the comments or discussions by those unfamiliar with Autism.

The word ignorance.

What an ugly word.

According to Merriam-Webster, ignorance is defined as, “the state or fact of being ignorant: lack of knowledge, education, or awareness.”

It’s a fair definition, but ignorance is often a two-way street. People are quick to often jump on others, without understanding the sentiment or experience behind their comments. After all, do you know what kind of day that person is having? Do you know anything more about why he/she feels that way? Are you biased towards how the situation would likely be commonly perceived?

Isn’t it ignorant on your part to just assume that person is ignorant, and dismiss them?

There are no winners in calling anybody ignorant.

Almost any attitude can be overcome with “knowledge, education and awareness,” and, of course, some kindness and patience. However, the step to overcoming has to begin with someone.

As a special needs parent, I have never really felt that anyone was ignorant. I have felt defeated, ignored and quite a few other words. I have also felt that I just don’t have the patience to deal with some people and it’s better to just wink and nod—after all, some people are just happy being miserable.

Once I use that word “ignorant,” however, it feels like I am simply stooping to their level and, well, that is not going to help anyone. Between personal and work responsibilities, there’s no time for this additional drama in my life. My hope is maybe one person will read this letter and stop using that word.

Try to educate someone. Do something to create more awareness. There is no need to use the word “ignorant.” It often just breeds more negative energy in your own daily life when the person who is assumed to be “ignorant” really probably doesn’t care anyway.

My favorite quote is by George Bernard Shaw – “Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.”

Place your energy in battles you can win or people you can educate, and try to remove this word from your vocabulary. You may be surprised how much better it makes you feel.

Follow Me

Alan Dunn

A dad who simply wants to be the best he can. It doesn't get any simpler than that. Oh, and I love domain names, starbucks and sarcasm.
Follow Me

Latest posts by Alan Dunn (see all)

Related Posts

Life With Autism: Richard Mylan & His Son, Ja... Welch actor, Richard Mylan, talks about raising his autistic son, Jaco, in a recent BBC documentary. They've both come a long way since Jaco's diag...
She Has Non-Verbal Autism, But Her New Friend Unde... If you have a non-verbal child, chances are you know how hard it is for them to make friends. That's why we know you'll love this video. The mother...
To All of the Amazing Dads To show our appreciation on Father’s Day, and every day, we present these nine wonderful posts celebrating amazing Autism Dads. ...
5 Ways Being an Autism Dad Has Changed Me Most guys have a vision of what life will be like when we become a Dad.  We think about teaching our sons sports, helping them with homework, talking ...
Looking Back Now Is Easier Than Looking Forward Wa... It was strange, thinking back, how the course of our daughter's life changed in a moment. A moment that took place in a portacabin, painted with cheer...
New York City ‘Detective’ Program a Hi... If you’re planning a trip to New York City, be sure to add a stop at the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn to your itinerary. The museum, open since...
12 Year Old Creates Disability App Twelve-year-old Alexander Knoll is a shining example for changing the world at any age. The tween has invented the prototype for Ability App™, an appl...
Regions Bank Rolls Out Autism-Friendly Initiatives Regions Bank, which serves 15 mostly Southern states in the U.S., has joined the growing number of businesses offering autism-friendly services and pr...
The Easiest Way to Teach Your Kid to Tie Their Sho... Kirsten Johnson, a mom in Canada, developed this simple shoe-tying method years ago, when she worked with kids on the autism spectrum. She remembered ...
The Unconditional Love He Has for His Autistic Son Bill Davis and his wife were told to put their son, Chris, who has neurological damage, physical disabilities, and a severe form of autism, in a home....
We Are All Different, Not Less Most people, including me, seem to be primed to recognise faces in inanimate objects. I know that I instinctively add a layer of social story to the t...
When Living With Your Autistic Child Becomes ̵... I went with my daughter to see a mental health advisor. Her anxiety is out of control, her sleeping is poor and her eating almost non-existent. It is ...