America has mass ignorance; tens of millions are very ignorant.

They go through life spouting and touting beliefs and opinions based on misconceptions, partial truths or even no truth.

Let's pause here, before you "cop an attitude" or "ruffle those feathers" and feign offense, should you not understand the word.

Ignorance doesn't mean you're unintelligent or "stupid." It simply means lack of knowledge, education, awareness. Lack of knowledge and awareness allows for disparities, abuses, corrupt practices, and language that unjustly vilifies. Ignorance fosters resentment, fear, anger, and as we see more and more, accusations, blame, violence and destruction.

The blame game is very popular and though there truly are victims, many discount their own shortcomings and failures by claiming to be a victim. Many are just victims of their own ignorance.

So, am I ignorant? You bet I am. There's much I don't know. Many mistakes I’ve made. I'm not the brightest guy. I'm not highly educated but I am a seeker of truth. I don't fault anyone for differing opinions. I do fault them for baseless opinions; opinions based on feelings, sentiment, and blind allegiance, instead of truth, especially when the truth is readily available.

Too many go through life with blinders, their beliefs being based on a narrow field of vision or indoctrination. What they buy, how they vote, what they eat, what they watch; so influenced by the minds and agendas of others. They view, read, and listen to only those sources that agree with a belief that may be founded on groupthink and limited biased information. This may come as a shock to many but the media (TV, newspapers, internet) often have an agenda, a narrative, and they often slant and report only that which furthers their narrative, their agenda.

CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, FOX, so many sources. With recently expanded cable due to COVID-19, I was able to view channels I don't usually get. Wow, night after night of riots, looting, burnings, shootings, innocent people truly being victimized! How is it some channels barely show it, barely mention it; only referring to a narrative that suits their purpose and vilifies one but not another? This is just one example of biased reporting.

I'm not going to tell anybody what to watch, what to read. But, if you never watch FOX, watch their nightly news shows for a few weeks. If you never watch CNN, watch their nightly shows for a few weeks. The 8 and 9 o’clock slots are very informative. ABC, CBS, and NBC reporting has definitely changed since my youth; perhaps not for the better.

No one has it all or tells it all. Look beyond the facades and rhetoric; look for the facts. Mix it up, pay attention. Vary your sources. Open your minds. It is said, "the truth will set you free." You can't know the truth if you're unwilling to listen, watch, and read multiple sources and viewpoints.

Don't be afraid of the truth. Sometimes the truth hurts. Life can hurt. Sometimes you find out perhaps your family, your church, or loved ones, have lied or misled you because of their own misguided beliefs. I know this, I’ve experienced this. Don't hate them. Learn, grow, move on. But I implore everyone, don't let others dictate your thoughts and your beliefs. Open your mind. Open your heart. You may discover another level of freedom.

—Stephen Anton,

Exeter Township

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