Ignorance vs Stupidity

I have grown up most of my life hearing the statement, “There are no stupid questions.” Well, I am throwing a red flag on the play. That statement has always annoyed me and I am here to debunk that erroneous myth. I have heard a plethora of stupid questions in my life, and probably asked even more. The more salient point of that statement is realizing there is a difference between being stupid, and being ignorant.

We have all been ignorant in our lives. At some point we had to learn everything we know, and each day we learn more and more. Everyone learns in a different capacity and at different points in their lives. Some learn things quicker, others not so much. The point is, in ignorance, we are capable of learning.

Stupidity is a completely different ball of wax. Ignorance is simply not knowing. Stupidity is not knowing and doing nothing to correct the problem. Stupidity is not knowing and rejecting advise, or information, that may direct us to make a better decision. Sure, we all need to make mistakes and we learn that way, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. If people would stop making the above statement perhaps less mistakes would be made, because making that statement only encourages people to feel stupid, and therefore may not ask the question for fear of ridicule. The statement itself implies just the opposite, and that people believe there are stupid questions. It’s like that person who keeps saying they are smart – really smart people don’t have to advertise it.

I firmly believe there are stupid questions, and I wish that statement would be removed from our lexicon. But let me ask you this…would you rather ask a stupid question, or would you rather make a stupid mistake? I chose the former, but in the end, it might be too late and the later will be the result.

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