The definition of stupidity is incomplete, as long as not comprising pride. Ignorance is often wrongly interpreted as stupidity. But a person is as wise as admitting not to know what he doesn’t know. Stupidity includes the assumption of knowing what one doesn’t know.
Stupidity can be quantified in what Jesus said of a farmer who, after harvesting bountifully, entertained ideas of good-living (SeeLuke 12:16-21). The farmer’s idea of convenience was ensconced in self-centeredness, rather than altruism. But in that mindset, the farmer could not have been the only one of his kind.
He represented the majority of ordinary people, even today. While the white settlers demonstrated stupidity, during colonization, apparently, they were envied by the oppressed black people. The whites had assumed that failure to access education by Africans, described the stupidity of the black people.
Being ignorant of some information does not, necessarily, translate into stupidity. The definition of stupidity includes failure to disseminate what one knows, ahead of others. If others are ignorant, then those with knowledge bear the responsibility to inform the ignorant ones.
Out of stupidity, the white settlers failed to understand this principle, leading to guerrilla warfare. But what boggles the mind is how, after dislodging those white settlers, the freedom fighters came to practice the same stupidity? They, actually, became worse than the former white settlers.
As advancing this type of stupidity, politics is regarded as wisdom, when outmaneuvering others to gain support. Similarly, the accumulation of wealth is interpreted as displaying entrepreneurial dexterity and wisdom. This includes attracting multitudes in Christian miracle crusades, for personal gain.
It can be very discouraging when observing the majority preferring being deceived, rather than embracing forthrightness. But, even the minority, able to comprehend the truth, often succumb to despair, due to shortsightedness. Power comes from knowledge, but there is despair when knowledge becomes defeated by ignorance.
To most people, the advantages of the present time are considered more important than the future promises. But, everyone knows that even the most delicious food, enjoyed in present time, becomes forgotten about, thereafter. The only datum, embracing wisdom, was established by Jesus, to His disciples:
“Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. ‘Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:14-15) (NIV).
In a nutshell, wise people carry certainty in what they know, with the willingness to share that information with others. They never pretend to know what they do not know—hence, willing to listen. Fools are never willing to learn anything, as assuming to know everything.
There are basically three dimensions, through which the majority of the unsuspecting populace get easily duped. The first one is cowardice. Many people are able to distinguish truth from error, yet unwilling to confront truthfulness. Behind the scenes, such cowardly people display unflinching support for what would be considered truthful.
However, as long as controlled by fear, the same people forego rightful decisions. They can be considered good people, but nothing good comes from cowards. It can be unbelievable but true, that even with the undoubted knowledge, the educated submit to ignorant people.
Ignorance comprises the second dimension. It is quite disheartening that ignorant people can be extremely zealous, as chatting conditions in the environment. The biggest problem with ignorance is that one becomes willing to die for what would be intellectually proven to be false.
The ignorant people are normally used by the politicians, for stirring emotions, causing the ignorant ones to unknowingly support criminality. This is similar to what is recorded, in the Bible, concerning Demetrius. He stirred a combative riot, against Paul, in order to maintain his business.
“For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Diana, brought no small profit to the craftsmen. He called them together with the workers of similar occupation and said: ‘Men, you know that we have our prosperity by this trade. Moreover, you see and hear that not only at Ephesus but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands. So not only is this trade of ours in danger of falling into disrepute, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worship.’ Now when they heard this, they were full of wrath and cried out, saying, ‘Great is Diana of the Ephesians!’ So the whole city was filled with confusion, and rushed into the theater with one accord, having seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians, Paul’s travel companions”(Acts 19:24-29) (NIV).
This Scripture describes a perfect example of how ignorant people, unknowingly, get used, to achieve nefarious objectives. Demetrius was not concerned about the spiritual condition of the ignorant people. He simply wanted to maintain his idol-crafting business for those idolaters. The ignorant ones viewed Demetrius as religiously committed to goddess Diana, but the opposite was true.
The ignorant people are always manipulated to commit callous murders, on behalf of politicians. Those politicians would never accept responsibility for such murders. Ignorant people zealously oppose those not in agreement with the establishment. They believe that doing so would be displaying patriotism. The ignorant people need sympathy more than vilification. They are better than the educated cowards, who are unable to advance what they know to be true, due to cowardice.
Ignorant people get abused by actual criminals, whose focus would always be on self-benefit and fame. The role of ignorant people is to instill fear among the cowardly people, described in the first dimension. It is impossible for an ignorant person to think about the future, hence being manipulated by the considered successful ones.
The third and last dimension, through which ordinary humans are deceived, depicts actual criminals, who are fully aware of their criminality. These are natural suppressors who believe that everyone must die so that they can live! They believe in chaos, rather than order. As far as they are concerned, the principle of order is problematic. They view the orderly condition as causing the despised to take positions of honor, ahead of them.
Such chaotic people are few in numbers, but very influential in society. They nefariously promote disorder, instead of order, while blaming scapegoats for such confusion. Bear in mind, they would be defended by the ignorant, used to manipulate the cowardly, in the environment. These criminals are found in religion and mainstream politics, swimming in the fallacious tide of supremacy.
The sensation of sanctions in Zimbabwe can be a perfect example of how ignorant people get manipulated. The introduction of Western sanctions may be justified, as intended to punish violators of human rights. But, sadly, the sanctions advocacy gives ammunition to those charlatans. They use sanctions to convince the ignorant people to believe that the country would be failing to deliver, due to sanctions.
Of course, the ignorant ones hold no capacity to evaluate the veracity of what would be uttered by those said to be in authority. This is what makes an international intervention in our national affairs complicated. Hence, true freedom cannot be externally driven, but through the people themselves, when eradicating ignorance.
How can one convince an ignorant person that sanctions are blameless when such sanctions coincided with the dubious land reform program? Among the cowards, are found the so-called prayer warriors, dubiously enacted by a superstitiously religious system? Such prayer warriors can be worse than the Mbuya Nehanda ritualists.
They are known to vainly use the name of the great humanitarian philosopher, Jesus Christ. Christianity, therefore, serves to maintain a nebulous culture, appearing as Godly, yet negatively sustaining cowards. From this confusion, springs the legendary spiritual leaders, who are deified as gods. The political criminals embrace such spiritual charlatans to peddle falsehoods and maintain the pacification of a confused society.
One common thing about the hegemonic criminals is that good news for humanity is bad news for them. Yet, any bad news for humanity is good news for them. The anti-social characters are more dangerous than any deadly pandemic, known to pester humanity. Their power is derived from the ignorant majority, who in turn, get sustained by the cowardly of our society.
It should be noted that the cowardly comprise the highly educated of our society. Choosing to keep quiet, as long as their good jobs and businesses are not disturbed. The majority of them are known to have, actually, succumbed to joining the fray, seeking political offices, for purposes of maintaining their own living standards.
It cannot be advisable to violently remove such bad characters from power. Doing so can be as dangerous as would negatively impact the vindictive assailants. Sadly, the bad characters are considered good by relatives, receiving crumbs, supplied by such, seemingly, beneficent relatives. This presents a real quandary, as also complicated by the aforesaid ignorant people who do not even question their own identity.
The Bible clearly states that humans were created in God’s image. Therefore, the starting point would be to educate the ignorant majority, concerning this reality. There is a need for the entire populace to be bombarded with truthful information. The media is predisposed to play a very powerful role in such an endeavor.
While the cowards can be a nuisance, they can be expedient to handle. One can bank on them when the time comes. They can be used for progressive endeavors, just as they are currently used for regressive endeavors. This is why in 1980, the Muzorewa supporters were turned overnight to become Mugabe’s expedient supporters.
In the absence of cowards and the ignorant, the anti-social criminals have got no pedestal on which to stand. Some of them could only be transformed by being sent to prison. But, the majority of them are beyond redemption. True Christians remain hopeful that they may eventually turn over a new leaf when goodness triumphs.
It must be borne in mind that while the suppressive people are focused on human destruction, they also die. Progressive Universities should use such characters as case studies, for future human developmental handling. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose”(Romans 8:28) (NIV).
The idea of turning the other cheek, suggests taking responsibility. Wickedness can be manipulated for progressive development in our society. Worse things happened in Rwanda. But today Rwanda is on a progressive path, being regarded as one of the fastest economically developing countries on the continent. There can still be hope for our country, after all.
Zimbabwe is in desperate need of good people, desiring to do the right things, ahead of what the degraded of society craves. Good people are a rare jewel in a country that has completely lost its dignity. The majority of Zimbabwean people can be described as moving corpses, even though appearing as alive.
The appearance of a human being in a person does not make one human. That which was created in God’s image does not need a physical body. Its preservation is in maintaining dignity, accessed through desiring to serve others, rather than subtracting value from others. Value addition on others is the only thing making a human being humane.
Currently, the majority of our people have become subjected to inhuman reasoning—assuming money to be more valuable than dignity. Boasting about financial leverage, while appealing to most people, serves to degrade, rather than upgrade such humanoids.
Indeed, we have many people who, due to connection with the corrupt system, have become rich. Such possessions appear as carrying value but the degradation of those associated with an evil system is unbelievably pathetic. The same applies to politicians who assume that manipulating supporters grants dignity.
In our degraded society, there is more insecurity, as long as surrounded by undignified supporters. Security can only be found in doing the right things, rather than doing what the degraded people put value in. Hence, the saying goes: “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone”(Psalm 118:22) (NKJV).
As long as not having confidence in doing the right things, good people allow evil to triumph. The strangest phenomenon in this world is that it is always the ignorant people who are confident in their ignorance. The knowledgeable ones tend to be cautious, rather than confidently assert what they know to be true.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99