Independent thinkers are a rarity in our conformist society. If you want to be a more authentic and genuine person, consider these ten signs you are a hopelessly ignorant fool.

1. You think politicians have your best interest at heart.

If you think all of your country’s problems will magically vanish if you elect a new leader or representative, then you might be a hopelessly ignorant fool. Politicians have little incentive to care about the people they serve, because the system is built to serve the needs of the most powerful (read: wealthy).

2. You believe in a religion just because your parents told you to.

If you believe in a God for no other reason than “my parents raised me that way,” then you might be a hopelessly ignorant fool. Faith is a beautiful thing IF it is a personal relationship between a believer and the deity they CHOOSE to believe in. But don’t you think it would be absurd to live your life according to an ancient text without considering its validity?

3. You get all of your news from a single source.

If you only follow a single television station or newspaper, then you might be a hopelessly ignorant fool. Journalists and media sources like to boast about being “unbiased,” but every person carries biases based on their life experience that determine how they see the world (and report on it). As a consequence, certain world events are covered extensively at some places, and completely neglected at others. Want to stay informed? Cast a wide net or expect to be deceived.

4. You couldn’t tell me the last time you read a book.

If you spend all of your free time playing video games or watching TV, then you might be a hopelessly ignorant fool. Television requires no thought process, while reading is an active learning experience that will help your mind stay sharp. Click here to discover 11 more reasons to read more books.

5. You can’t have rational conversations with people you disagree with.

If you can’t respect people who see things differently than you do, then you might be a hopelessly ignorant fool. Personally, I avoid comment boards surrounding controversial issues, because I get irritated by the ad-hominem attacks and insulting tactics that dominate these conversation. Confident people don’t act this way, because they know an opinion worth having should hold up to scrutiny.

6. You insult people based on their religion or sexual orientation

If you judge people for their faith or sexual orientation, then you might be a hopelessly ignorant fool. Even if you’re a firm believer of a particular religion, do you really think condemning people is a good way to convince them they are wrong? And how do you propose a person could re-wire their brain to feel love and physical attraction for the opposite gender? If you can’t answer those questions, then you have no business judging.

7. You vote strictly based on political party without considering the issues.

If you vote exclusively for Republicans or Democrats without any consideration of a political candidate’s stances on the issues that matter to you, then you might be a hopelessly ignorant fool. Political affiliation is a simplistic measure of a person’s qualities. Stop mindlessly conforming to your party affiliation if you want to start being a part of the solution.

8. You conform to society’s demands without question.

If you follow societal expectations without consideration, then you might be a hopelessly ignorant fool. For example, gender roles are a toxic influence on the personal development of our boys and girls. Real men can cry and women shouldn’t be led to believe they are frail creatures in need of protecting. Teach your children to follow their hearts wherever their intuition might take them, unless you want to suck every ounce of creativity and independence out of them.

9. You don’t know how to function without being around other people.

If you can’t be happy without the company of another, then you might be a hopelessly ignorant fool. It is easier to reflect with silence and solitude. Being around other people all the time will encourage constant conformist behavior, because you will never feel safe to explore thoughts and ideas that would make you feel like you don’t “fit in” with the crowd.

10. You never consider alternative views that don’t fit your worldview.

If you immediately discard ideas that don’t agree with your existing beliefs, then you might be a hopelessly ignorant fool. I consider my ability to admit when I am wrong one of my strong-suits, because this allows me to evolve into a better person. If you’re not willing to swallow bitter pills as required for your personal growth, then you will never be successful.

Featured photo credit: Dumb and Dumber/Insomnia Cured Here via flickr.com

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