Woe to the deliberately ignorant; blessings to the humble

Woe to the deliberately ignorant; blessings to the humble

Luke 6:17, 20-26. Ministering to a great multitude

This gospel is a version of the Beatitudes, but complemented with a series of “woe to you” in contrast to the more positive “blessed are you”.

What I appreciate most from the preachings of Jesus is the importance of humility in all dimensions: material, intellectual, social, and spiritual. The “woes” stated in the gospel provides insight on what we should not do; and these are related to willfull ignorance and settling for what is comforting to our senses. As the cliche goes, ignorance is bliss, and the innocent deprived of a real opportunity to reflect and to act are showed mercy.

Writing daily reflections for over a month already, I find newfound respect for the priests and reverends who provide daily questions for reflection; this requires humility, stamina, and a spirit of curiosity. I realize that insightfulness is not necessarily just about IQs or genius-levels, but rather, a disciplined commitment to reflect. I come to appreciate that wisdom is the fruit of iterative reflection and action, i.e., virtuousness. To pray for wisdom is to pray for stamina to live a more virtuous life.

It is not easy. Humility means being open to correction, and to realize that all human insights are fallible. It is being open to criticism. And if God is the grand giver of feedback, I realize that opening our minds, hearts, and spirits to God is not necessarily a sensually pleasing experience, akin to a mentee being corrected by a master.

In a society that over-rewards confidence, charisma, and loud voices, I wonder how managers who are still rising up the ranks could live an authentic and integrated life? In companies where profits (at the cost of environmental externalities) and ruthless efficiency (at the cost of dignity and well-being) reign supreme, how should we groom future business leaders?

As we have taught our Applied Corporate Management students, MBA students, and doctoral students to diagnose structural and systemic injustices in organizations

and craft humanistic intervention proposals, the proverbial cross becomes heavier. The gravity of real change required can make any person feel anxious and paralyzed.

Should we feel guilty when we can point out injustices and tentative solutions, but find ourselves incapable, anxious, and afraid to put these into action? Is it a sin of omission to know but feel incapable?

… I do not know (yet). Perhaps, these dilemmas are the precise moments when reason alone seems insufficient.


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