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PISD Athletic Director/Head Football Coach Steve Smith

Intelligent Ignorance vs. Plain Ole Ignorance

The Coach's Corner

Published Feb. 22, 2012 @ midnight

It is a well-known fact that the bumblebee can’t fly.  Scientific evidence about the subject is overwhelming.  Bumblebee’s body is too heavy, and its wings are too small and light.  Aerodynamically it is impossibility for the physics to be overcome and thus Bumblebees cannot fly.  But the problem with all that is that the Bumblebees have never studied aerodynamics or physics and they most certainly cannot read and thus, the Bumblebee, ignorant of science, flies around happy and content.

Intelligent ignorance is the capability of not knowing what you can’t do.  It is what enables a person to accomplish the near impossible, contrary to popular opinion.  It is the I CAN to the negative people who complain, doubt, and criticize those who would push for progress and dare greatly to be better than they are now.

Henry Ford was not an immediate success.  He was not a financial success until he was well into his 40’s.  He had very little formal education.  After he had built his automotive empire, he conceived the idea for a V-8 engine.  He called his engineers together and told them to build it.  These well educated men, who knew physics, and mechanics and engineering and mathematics, told him it could not be done.  They patiently explained to him that it was not feasible and even explained why it could not be done.

Ford did not listen and demanded they build it.  For a period of time they tried and then reported back to him that they were more convinced than ever that it was impossible.  He scolded them and told them they had better get it done and to try harder, spend more time, and more money but to come back with a V-8 engine.  Once again after a time they came back and said it was an absolute impossibility.

The word impossible did not exist for Henry Ford.  He hired some more engineers and the man who revolutionized industry with the Model T, Model A, the assembly line and daily wages to them to go and do it.  Finally they did.  They did it because one man that was intelligently ignorant enough not to know that something couldn’t be done…….so he just did it.

At one point in WW II, General Abrams and his command were totally surrounded.  His reaction to the news, “Gentlemen, for the first time in the history of this campaign, we are now in a position to attack the enemy in any direction.”  General Abrams not only had the desire to live, he had the desire to win.  It is not the situation, but the way we react to it that is important.

What is intelligent ignorance?  It is essentially the way you react to the unpromising or negative situations or people in your life.  Intelligent ignorance is the seed of hope, the promise of good in everything that happens. It is the plan, the goal, the striving for excellence.  Towns do not prosper, schools to not grow and flourish, teams do not win and individuals do not succeed when they complain, refuse to cooperate, gripe, or are petty in their ways.  Regardless of what happens, something positive can come from it, and we can make something good out of it. 

Jacob Schick way looking for gold and in 40 degree below zero temperature he could not shave with a razor, so he invented the electric razor and made his fortune such that he could have bought a gold mine.  Neal Jeffrey, a third string freshman quarterback at Baylor had a bad stutter.  His burning desire let him overcome this problem and become the Southwest conference MVP.  The list goes on and on. 

There are people who are disagreeable and there are those with foresight and ambition.  There are those who are the winds that push the sails of success and there are those who are the anchors that harbor the ship of mediocrity.  There are those who say I CAN and there are those who say YOU CAN’T.  There are those who if it isn’t going to benefit them directly they are against it and there are those who understand that positive and good deeds lead to bigger and better things for everyone sooner or later.  Be like the Bumblebee and be intelligently ignorant and try not to be just plain ignorant.

Be Bold, Be Gold and don’t let anyone tell Post, our schools, our teams, or our kids that we can’t, because if we are truly Bold Gold then WE CAN!

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