I have a history calendar on my desk which tells about some event in history that happened on this specific date.
Today for January 25th it tells about how Paul McCartney was released from a Tokyo jail and deported from Japan.
My first impression after reading this was Paul McCartney in Jail? Really? For What?
Reading the bit, apparently he was stopped coming into Japan with nearly half a pound of marijuana. He had arrived on January 16, 1980, his first visit to Japan since the Beatles Tour of 1966. The plan was for a concert tour of eleven cities by his band Wings.
Seriously, Sir Paul McCartney, in jail on drug charges? This was the first I had ever heard of this. Where the hell was I at in 1980?
My First impression of this shows my ignorance or naivety of the world. That became the inspiration for this post.
Ignorance or Naivety?
Depending on where you are in the world, where you were brought up or raised, the environment you lived in largely determines the level of ignorance or naivety you are at or may have been at.
In 1979 my family came from Athol, Idaho, technically quite a few miles outside of Athol in the woods, and visited my mom's mom, my grandmother in Independence, Missouri. After returning home the family packed up and we moved that summer of 79 to Missouri. It was a culture shock to say the least. At that time where I had come from their was only three television stations on TV, no cinemas, no escalators, elevators, automatic opening doors, and the local ice cream store had three flavors of ice cream, vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. The music, they played both types on the radio, country and western. I had in effect missed everything that had happened in music up to 1979! My music knowledge from my environment growing up was old country western music and a collection of 45's from the late 1950's up until the very early 1960's. Apparently my mom quit buying 45's during high school before the British invasion.
Where we ended up in Independence, the Skagg's Drug store had an automatic opening door. The Mall had and escalator and an elevator. Baskin Robbins was a freaking miracle of ice cream with 31 flavors. Radio!! Oh My God! I heard music and groups I had never heard before in my life. I was learning all kinds of things everyday about the everyday world that I never knew existed. The kids in eighth grade at William Bridger Jr. High thought I was from another country because I was such a backwards idiot and I talked funny in their opinion.
I was in the eighth grade on December 9th, 1980, when kids were wearing black arm bands because somebody had killed some guy known as John Lennon. I had never heard of the Beatles! I didn't know who John Lennon was but obviously somebody had shot him the night before in New York. So obviously I had no idea who Paul McCartney was so in the following December as a freshman at Truman High School I would not have known or paid much attention to the news about him being locked up for a few days in Japan.
Thinking back to the calendar if the Beatles toured Japan in 1966, that was the year I was born. I wasn't in the hole of Idaho at the time that would have been Castle Air Force Base, California which isn't even there anymore.
It makes me think of people and where they live, have lived, and what they missed or didn't miss because of their experiences and environment. We all grow up in different places, went to different schools, and have different experiences. Our lives and perceptions of the world we live in are shaped by the experiences we have had, what we have learned along the way, and the environment in which we were brought up in. The people and places that influenced our lives as we lived helped shape our world and perceptions.
I think it is amazing that we don't all have the same back grounds, education and knowledge so consequently we all inhabit the same plane of existence with vastly different concepts, views, and perceptions of the world we live in. When you understand this concept you can see why some people may seem narrow minded, or cling so defensively to wrong, misguided, or skewed perceptions of the world. Because to them it is their world, what they believe to be true, what they know, and it is hard sometimes to back up and say "I might be mistaken." "Maybe I'm wrong!" "Maybe what I believe and was taught is not what really happened?"
Maybe my fascination with history is the result of years of finding out that other things existed that I was unaware of. Maybe I got tired of being surprised and decided to ask questions and read books to determine my own truth and beliefs about this world we live in. I also through the years have become a big proponent of knowing why do you believe what you believe?
Because somebody told you? You saw it? You where there? You read about it in a book? You saw a movie about it sometime somewhere? That's how you were raised?
What do you believe? Why do you believe it?
What do you truly know is real and concrete? Beyond reproach?
What have you researched and discovered on your own?
I know the more I learn the more I find that I don't know. The more questions I get.
The old adage goes: "Ignorance Is Bliss."
When I was first leaning things I thought this meant that those that don't know and don't question things and don't get disappointed by the truths they discover are more blissful because they don't know and don't care.
I have learned a shit load of stuff since I came out of the woods in 1979. I learned things growing up in the woods that city people don't have a clue about. When I go camping or get to hike through the woods it brings back a plethora of memories from my childhood and hiking and riding horses through the woods as a boy.
As I have gotten older and wiser I realize the more I learn the more I don't know. The more I don't know the more ignorant I am becoming. The more I learn and become ignorant the more blissful it becomes.
Change the things you can and be wise enough to know the difference! Amen.