Welcome to DumbVille (Or How We Despise Wisdom in The Modern Era)
Benjamin Sledge
2.8K20

I think the use of “DumbVille” (clickbait?) in your title is symptomatic of the problem you’re trying to address in your article. Too often I believe people do not place enough value on empathy or compassion for others in their relationships or perceptions of other people nor themselves. Judgments based upon insufficient insight into whatever it is you’re trying to evaluate will be compromised. Frequently people seem too quick to want to categorize people rather than try to understand what’s happened to them or what motivates and influences why they do what they do.

In a complex world, our minds do filter what we experience as it would be too overwhelming and difficult to make sense of what’s going on if we didn’t. Nevertheless, we need to question and be aware of why we do what we do as well.

Another issue is our cultural faith in technology to solve our problems. While technologies in and of themselves aren’t necessarily going to determine our quality of life, how we decide to use them and an examination of their impact upon us will. Furthermore, we frequently ignore existing approaches and resources for the lure of the latest shiny new tech.

Similarly, some people reject new technology because they’re unwilling to adopt new ways of doing things. It is one thing to consider alternatives and decide they’re not for you and quite another to refuse to consider them or learn about them on principle.

We often ignore our emotions at our own peril and try to evaluate situations based upon conscious rational thought where often we’re better served by going with our gut instinct. It is not simply a matter of deciding whether emotion or intellect is superior, but rather to learn and cultivate both so we can benefit from each as appropriate.

Dividing the world into us and them seems to be a deeply ingrained human trait which inflates our perception of ourselves as good and competent and underestimates the capacities and intentions of others. At other times we assume other people are more like us than they are which leads to problems also.

Holding onto a world view that tends toward black/white perceptions rather than to recognize or acknowledge the grays, we often struggle to see the POV of others let alone comprehend it. This can lead to talking past one another, dismissal of their values, and inhibits mutual understanding or cooperation based upon shared mutual interests.

As others have pointed out, people frequently try to foment dissension for their own benefit which has contributed to many of the issues and conflicts you point out in your article especially when mass media and internet resources can magnify these effects.

I have found that listening to people, trying to understand where they’re coming from, and trying to be as honest with ourselves about our own limitations will help us to grow. I believe wisdom is a never ending journey where paying attention and being open can help to cultivate wise qualities.