Thereâ€™s an old saying that â€œwhat you donâ€™t know wonâ€™t hurt youâ€.Â Uh, huh, wellâ€¦that depends on what it is that you donâ€™t know, doesnâ€™t it?Â And sometimes, it isnâ€™t just about what harms the individual, per se.Â If a significant portion of a society of people have a similar gap in knowledgeâ€¦what then?Â How much harm can be done by it?
Iâ€™d say most people have heard about the scientific experiment that involves putting a frog in a pot of water.Â The temperature of the water is slowly increased.Â At each point of increase, the frog responds negatively at first, but over time, the frog becomes acclimated to the change.Â After acclimation occurs, the temperature is increased again.Â The process just repeats itself.Â This is a scientific experiment that is often done to prove how the scientific concept of acclimation works in practical application.Â What the scientists conducting the experiment are counting on is that the frog doesnâ€™t consciously know that this slow increase in temperature will eventually boil the frog alive.
Now, apply those principles to what can take place when there is a broad gap of knowledge that exists across a society as a whole.Â Suppose that the structure of a certain government requires that citizens be proactively involved in a vigilant manner to provide the best balance of power that can be maintained within that government.Â There could be individuals within that government who secretly do not want this active vigilance to take place.Â They want the right and opportunity to gain and establish a greater degree of power that will let them accomplish and achieve goals that conform to their own ideological agenda.Â It may not even be malicious on their partâ€¦just an excessive amount of intellectual paternalism, believing that â€œthey know bestâ€, etc.
In such a case, what the people donâ€™t know about the need for vigilance becomes a valuable means to an end in accomplishing and achieving those goals doesnâ€™t it?Â The process of acclimating the society as a whole to new philosophies and new standards of living would be much simpler to accomplish and achieve when there is a broad gap of knowledge that exists among the citizens within that society, wouldnâ€™t it?
In a lot of ways, this is exactly what has taken place in our country in the last few decades.Â Thereâ€™s been plenty of education about citizensâ€™ rights, but very little education about citizensâ€™ responsibilities.Â Even in those cases where citizensâ€™ responsibilities are being taught, the emphasis isnâ€™t on being vigilant in the manner that would be required of us in order to protect and preserve the original vision of our founding fathers.
Iâ€™ve been one of those people who lived years of my life within a cocoon where the gaps in my own knowledge were detrimental to knowing what my individual responsibilities actually are and how to take on my responsibilities as a citizen of this nation.Â Slowly, over time, the ideological environment has been altered, much in the same way that the temperature of water was increased in the experiment stated above.Â With each alteration, I might have squirmed in an uncomfortable sort of way, because there were aspects of the alterations taking place that I didnâ€™t see as being morally or ethically right and proper.Â But then, acclimation to the changes set in, and along with that acclimation came a degree of complacency.Â Over time, I just became conditioned to having a complacent response to these societal changes.
A few years ago, all of that started to change.Â I started learning on my own what I needed to learn in order to fill in those gaps of knowledge.Â As the comparative â€œfrogâ€, getting myself out of the pot wasnâ€™t as easy as it looks.Â Overcoming the behavioral habit of complacency requires a conscious self-awareness at all times.Â There are still times when events takes place, and this part of me that had become so conditioned to the pattern of complacency initially responds with an attitude of â€œwell, it really doesnâ€™t matter that muchâ€.Â I literally have to take myself to task and consciously redirect my own line of thought.
â€œYes, it does matter.Â We the people do matter.Â The courage, freedom, liberty, hope, honesty, integrity, determination, vigilance, and perseverance of We the peopleâ€¦it matters.â€
What about the present time? Â Well, in my case, what I donâ€™t know canâ€™t be used against me any more.Â Talk about a newly found sense of freedom!!!
I still have a lot to learn.Â I’m looking forward to the challenges that I see ahead in developing more of the kinds of qualities and character traits that will let me, as one individual citizen, live up to my responsibilities.
And to any other conditioned â€œfrogsâ€ out thereâ€¦hey, life outside the pot is much more enjoyable.Â If I can make the leap, so can you!!!
Oh, and if you have tadpolesâ€¦ (Sorry, Iâ€™m getting a bit carried away with the frog analogy).Â If you have children, teach them what they need to know now, for their own sakes.Â Donâ€™t just leave it up to the public school system to do this.Â Have fun with it.Â Enjoy the privilege of it.Â Cherish the memories that are made in the process.Â Give them the knowledge they need to grow up to be the best of Patriots.