Friday, 24 August 2012

Ignorant or just Uneducated?

Blog post No.6

Ignorant or just Uneducated?

When we get to a certain age, do we suddenly become less aware of our behaviour, namely in public places but in general also?
Are we aware that we offend people whom we think haven’t noticed we exist?

  The other day I happened to be sitting in my local library typing up a short story the computer and perusing blogs I'm particularly fond of when I couldn’t help but find myself listening into a conversation a group of ladies where having. The ladies mostly appeared to be above the age of retirement and were sat in a cluster around a table provided for coffee mornings and as quiet reading space. These ladies were enjoying afternoon refreshments but they were neither quiet nor socially aware of their surroundings.
They discussed everything from the dismal weather to politics but what caught my attention more than anything is that they were discussing immigration and in a non -too favourable manner might I add. I found a lot of there conversing controversial and at times a little uncomfortable. A different person to me may have asked them to keep their voices down on particular subjects but I found their ignorance and opinions both interesting and entertaining to an extent. Not in a way that I agreed with them entirely but I found their lack of knowledge and understanding to be something to think about. You would think in this day and age that each and everyone of us would have all the facts and be able to make a proper judgement on things but these ladies were stuck in the wrong decade of thinking. I found myself sat there wondering if the other library patrons were too listening to them howling with laughter and talking without a second thought for anyone that could hear them.
In some ways they seemed really rather ‘hip’ and up to date with things. I heard them have a conversation about using the internet and one even said she owned a laptop. I wondered how a group of clearly intelligent ladies could be so ignorant and socially unaware of their own behaviour.

My Great Grandmother can be similar sometimes, she was brought up in the twenties and those were different times life was incredibly different back then but is this just an excuse that we today use? She too knows about the internet. She asks me about facebook and eBay, not that she uses it but she is aware that it is there. She watches the news religiously. She listens to the radio each night before she goes to bed or the wireless as she still calls it. I find myself regularly impressed by her ability to have adapted to modern life and everything it has brought with it over the years but one thing that hasn’t transpired is her attitude towards people in this world. She occasionally says things in the company of the family that shock us and we worry she would offend. Sure at the time we laugh, not because we necessarily find it funny what she comes out with but at her brash and boldness to say something in today’s world that you yourself wouldn’t dream of thinking to be the case let alone say something aloud as plain as day. Don’t get me wrong she is a very caring and generous person and the most wonderful Grandmother; I love her to the ends of the earth. It’s just she was brought up in a very different way to us, along time ago.

As for the ladies in my library they collectively packed up the remnants of their refreshments and seemingly morphed back into the extremely polite and graceful women I assumed they were from their appearances and demeanour before I heard their opulent opinions just seconds before. They were approximately twenty or so years younger than my Gran but I assume they too were brought up differently. They say ignorance is bliss it certainly is for these women as they chatted and drank their tea, blissfully unaware they had said anything out of the ordinary or obtuse.

Attitudes change, they always will but will there always be some of us that speak our mind no matter how shocking and often incorrect?

-Mrs N x

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