The Nature of Ignorance

As someone who has frequently been maligned by people who don’t want to take the time to study anything with any reasonable degree of patience and with a desire to understand, not to find weapons to destroy others in ephemeral battles on the Internet, I really like these words from Petrarch on the nature of ignorance and its relationship to envy:

Believe me, many things are attributed to gravity and wisdom which are really due to incapacity and sloth. Men often despise what they despair of obtaining. It is in the very nature of ignorance to scorn what it cannot understand, and to desire to keep others from attaining what it cannot reach. Hence the false judgments upon matters of which we know nothing, by which we evince our envy quite as clearly as our stupidity. [Source: Petrarch: The First Modern Scholar and Man of Letters, by James Harvey Robinson (citing a letter from Petrarch to Boccacio), pg. 391]

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