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Monday, 5 July 2010

Ignorance Is Bliss?

Yesterday i attended a quiz afternoon, organised by some good friends of mine & my wifes. It was all in aid of charity & indeed a favourite local charity of mine, St Michael's Hospice.
I've mentioned St Michael's Hospice before & have attended a fund raising quiz in aid of them before. I even wrote a blog post about that occasion. Thankfully, this quiz was nowhere near as dramatic as that night was!

Having said that, my team won & quite convincingly too. Which brings me to the point of this blog.
Without wishing to "big" myself up, i am usually thought of as being pretty good at quizzes. So much so that when my wife & i sat down at our table, our fellow team mates said "Oh, we'll be sure to win now that Andy is on our team" Thankfully, this proved to be the case & i did, indeed, get a lot of the answers correct.
But, why me & why didn't the other team members feel confident in their own general knowledge? And why didn't they know as many answers as myself?

As far as i'm concerned & feel free to correct me if you think i'm wrong, this has nothing to do with intelligence. Believe me, i know plenty of pretty intelligent people who have no real general knowledge at all & not a lot of common sense either, for that matter!
For me, it seems to come down to my general inquisitive nature & my wide range of interests.

But, i can't say that i've always been that way. I certainly don't recall having those interests whilst i was at school. Apart from music that is. In fact, i couldn't wait to get out of school to start work & earning money.
The vast majority of my "education" has come since then & in what i call, the University Of Life. I seemed to suddenly find this wide range of interests after starting work. Maybe it was a case of suddenly having the freedom to learn about & explore the subjects that interested me, rather than those topics which had to be taught before?
It's also possible that i just wasn't interested in learning whilst at school & i'm sure that's the case with many people at that age. And of course, if you leave school with few qualifications, the chance of any further education, especially in those days, was limited. I probably wouldn't have been interested in further education anyway. I never found school particularly inspiring, except for a very few exceptions.

Thankfully, after leaving school i started to read a lot of books, magazines, newspapers etc, especially about those subjects that did interest me & i started to absorb all of that knowledge.
I'm also lucky in that i tend to soak up that information like a sponge. But, i'm convinced that that only happens because i want to digest that information in the first place.
I've also never ever been much of a big watcher of TV. Sure, i watch TV, as most people do. But, i only ever turn the TV on when i want to watch something in particular.. Otherwise, i'd rather the TV was turned off.

So, if i'm inquistive, interested & want to learn & digest all of that knowledge. Why don't other people? Some people even seem to be proud of the fact that they don't know anything. For them, ignorance is bliss. They seem to have no real interest in the world around them. That's a situation that i find very hard to understand.
But, maybe that's just me?

What i do know is that, as part of the winning team, my wife & i came home with a bottle of wine & a box of chocolates. The "losers" went home with nothing.
Who says that knowledge has no benefits?

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