The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Deliberately Ignorant …

Once upon a time, a creative friend of mine rang me up.

He had been offered a job in China and wanted to hear my perspective on being there.

During the conversation, he asked if the pollution was bad.

When I asked why he was asking, he said he was pretty susceptible to asthma and while on his visit to the agency there, he had felt a bit ill, despite the weather being good.

He had asked some of his prospective workmates if they felt the weather was ever bad for breathing and they all said no and he wanted to know my take on it.

I laughed.

Not just because it’s pretty well documented the air there is not great, especially for an asthmatic – despite the government being the biggest investor in green technology in the World – but because it reminded me of something my Dad had told me while watching the Tom Cruise movie, A Few Good Men.

I know this is going off on a tangent, but hang in there.

You see, at the scene where Jack Nicholson spouts his immortal “You Can’t Handle The Truth” line, my Dad burst out laughing.

When I asked why, he said this:

“There are occasions where people will openly deny truth. Not because they hold a different opinion, but because to accept it means they would have to accept their complicity in a situation truth has revealed. Sometimes, the simple act of acknowledgement means people are forced to face and question the motives and values they conveniently chose to hide away”

His point was literally what my friend had experienced.

The prospective colleagues he asked about weather conditions knew full-well there is pollution in the air. However, their mind had almost forced them to forget it. Not because they were liars or bad people, but because if they admitted the truth, then they would be forced to ask themselves why they were there when they knew it was likely to be doing them harm.

We experience this every day.

Deliberate ignorance.

From people hired to purchases made.

Not because people are bad, but because we don’t want face the questionable decisions we’ve chosen to make to benefit our personal circumstances over health, values or friendship.

Which is why my mate decided not to go to China.

The moral of the story.

Remember people sometimes don’t tell you what they think, they tell you what protects them from you knowing what they think.

15 Comments so far
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the easiest way to spot if you have a good fucking client or not is if tell you whats really going on not the shit that they want you to think is going on.

Comment by andy@cynic

old man mr c was better than old son mr c.

Comment by andy@cynic

No argument from me. Same with Mum.

Comment by Rob

That’s real insight.

Comment by Pete

not from a planner.

Comment by andy@cynic

Your father was a very smart gentleman.

Comment by Lee Hill

Yep. Both my parents were. Won the lottery with them.

Comment by Rob

Humans are messed up. Just look at Billy.

Comment by Bazza

Evil. But funny.
And true … except for the Billy bit. Or most of it. Hahaha.

Comment by Rob

The one time it’s not a crazy tangent that goes on for pargraph after paragraph, you call it a tangent.

Comment by John

this explains why he is so shit at fractions.

Comment by andy@cynic

Now I understand why you once bought Robert a giant protractor for a birthday present.

Comment by George

There’s always an angle.

Comment by I'mhereallweek

Another reason why focus groups are inherently flawed. This is a great post with excellent insight from your dad. Real insight, not the observational rubbish that passes for it these days.

Comment by George

[…] A while back I wrote a post about being deliberately ignorant. […]

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