Even though I know people who think they know better than anyone else, especially when it comes to the personal lives of those anyone elses, and even though I'm repulsed by them, I think I may have been one of them.
Shocking. I know.
But seriously. When it comes to self-help, literacy, and nutrition - just to name a few - I notice I have, sometime in the past and on some level of my consciousness, condemned anyone who has disagreed with me. Vegans? Slowly dying idiots. Self-help haters? Another set of ignorant idiots. People who can read but don't? You get the picture.
Only after I was, in a way, forced to change by own behavior to such that this judgemental me would condemn this new me, did I really learn that
the circumstances in the life of an individual are best known by that individual, and no one else can fully understand what they are going through.
I hope I can clarify this. Whenever I saw people eating carbs, I used to judge them (non-verbally inside my head), thinking they just didn't know better because they'd rather blame the society or whatever of their obesity and poor health rather than see the trouble of educating themselves of quality nutrition. But what if that carb-eating person was recovering from anorexia, and eating easily absorbing food was really the best choice for them? I just assumed they were ignorant and lazy, without even considering they might be trying to save their lives.
Whenever someone would say self-help was just some guru bullshit designed to steal people's money, I used to think they were ignorant bastards who had a very limited world view. But perhaps we were talking about different kinds of self-help. Self-help the way I mean it is literature that explores a new way of organizing your thoughts, life, or world view, helping you to optimize your life in action. The ignorant bastard probably meant the pump-you-up seminar group chanting type of self-help. (I don't consider that self-help at all.)
And finally, the people who can read but don't - or worse, who read the "wrong" kind of literature: maybe they have just never had an enlightening reading experience. Perhaps they can't afford books or live far from a library. Perhaps they're actually doing something concrete with their lives, instead of just reading about something someone else has done, or something fictional.
I've been so ignorant. Thank god my attitude has only manifested in my thoughts. I can't imagine how embarrassed I would feel if I had actually called someone an ignorant bastard in their face.