This Desert is Making Me Thirsty: Part 1–From Ignorance to Common Sense

This Desert is Making Me Thirsty: Part 1–From Ignorance to Common Sense July 16, 2023

The world is like a desert, and life makes you thirsty. We all need refreshment on a regular basis.


Even so, I don´t know what it´s like to be TRULY thirsty. I have running water in my house and can get a drink whenever I want. Over a billion people on Earth can´t. This year´s drought has turned my lawn brown, but next year, it will be green again. Over 20 million square miles of land on this planet have no grass at all.


I don´t know what it is like to truly live in a desert. I don´t know what it is like to have to rely on cisterns for water or to walk miles to a well just to get what I can carry back.


But I do know what it is like to be spiritually thirsty. We all do, though not all of us will admit it. I also know what it feels like to thirst for knowledge. In other words, to be…



Single clear glass of cold water offers refreshment in the dry, hot, flat, dusty desert.
God, you are my God. I search for you. I thirst for you like someone in a dry, empty land where there is no water. (Psalm 63:1 NCV) Ken Kistler/

The word “ignorant” is derived from the Latin ignorare, meaning, “not to know.”  Ignorance is a lack of knowledge; therefore, an ignorant person is someone in the state of being where knowledge, instruction, training, etc. is not present or has not occurred.


Since ignorance is a lack of knowledge, we may liken it to an empty glass. There´s nothing flawed in the glass itself; it just doesn´t have any water in it.


So, an ignorant person is the one carrying the empty glass. There is nothing wrong with this person´s mind; they simply do not know what they do not know. The one thing they do know, however, is that their glass is empty, and they are thirsty. As a wanderer in the desert is thirsty for water, an ignorant person thirsts for knowledge and Truth.


Now when you´re thirsty, what do you do? You get a glass and either go to the sink or the refrigerator and get a drink. You know where to go to get what you are lacking.


It´s different when you´re dealing with a thirst for knowledge though. The more ignorant you are, the more you don´t know what you don´t know. You know that you need knowledge, but you may not know where to find it. Life´s not as simple as getting the pitcher out of the fridge and pouring yourself a glass of water.


No, in life, someone else is holding the pitcher. If the empty glass stands for ignorance, then the pitcher represents knowledge.


Ignorance is resolved by the person with the empty glass finding the person with the pitcher and asking them to pour into their glass.


Pouring from a large pitcher into a smaller one, which is running over
Education is the process of pouring. (Public Domain)


When pouring water out of a literal pitcher, the pitcher gets emptier as the glass gets fuller. With the pitcher of knowledge, however, the pitcher loses nothing by pouring out. Not only is ignorance overcome by education, but the newly educated person (no longer ignorant) has now become equal to the educator with the pitcher, at least regarding the specific knowledge shared.


There is a catch to this education process, however. If you were getting yourself a drink out of the fridge, you know what you are pouring yourself—water, juice, milk, soda, etc. You can see what is in the containers, or at least you can read the labels.


The pitcher of knowledge is trickier though. Because you don´t know what you don´t know when you are truly ignorant, you also don´t know what´s in the pitcher. You know you are thirsty, your glass is empty, someone is offering you a drink, so you accept. However, due to your ignorance, you don´t have any sure way of knowing if what´s in the pitcher is good for you or not.




Ever drink a tall glass of cold milk on a really sweltering day? It feels good going down, but do you notice that you get thirstier faster afterwards? Some drinks meet your needs better in some situations. If you´ve been working in the yard in 100-degree heat, iced tea might go down better than milk, for example.


Sometimes, we meet people with pitchers that are more than happy to share the knowledge they have. But sometimes we find out that what they have poured us doesn´t taste so good. Maybe it´s a couple of days past the expiration date. Maybe it´s even poison that will make us sick.


We all encounter people that will tell us things that are not beneficial. If we do not know any better, we will act on this false knowledge and suffer the consequences.


Experience is the process of learning from our own mistakes.


Experience is one of those things that is good to have but sucks to get on account of there is often pain involved, be it physical or emotional.


Wouldn´t it be nice if someone else could get the experience, fill up a pitcher with that and then pour us a glass of what they learned so we don´t have to make the mistakes they already made? Well, that does happen, though perhaps not as often as it should.


If learning from your own mistakes is “experience,” then learning from someone else´s is…



Quote--As one lamp serves to dispel a thousand years of darkness, so one flash of wisdom destroys ten thousand years of ignorance - Hui-Neng
Piotr Siedlecki/


Wisdom is far superior to experience because there is no progress without wisdom. Without wisdom, mankind would be caught in an endless loop of making the same mistakes and not learning anything from them.


Imagine a line of people walking toward a tree. The first person walks into the tree and busts his face. If experience were superior to wisdom, then each person in the line would have not only an opportunity but a duty to take his own turn walking into the tree and busting his face.


Wisdom, on the other hand, allows the second person in line say, “I don´t really want to bust my face. I think I´ll walk around the tree.”


Accordingly, the third person in line, who has observed one person busting his face and one not busting his face, is able to conclude logically that not having a busted face is the preferable choice. Furthermore, he can also conclude that the logical route to the desired result of the unbusted face is through the conscious action of walking around the tree.


Therefore, the third person also walks around the tree, and the rest of the line follows. Thus, wisdom is passed on to posterity and becomes…




Likewise, in life, if an ignorant person seeks out “knowledge” that leads to a bad result in his life, those who follow after would do well to seek another source of knowledge. After all, bad knowledge cannot come from a reliable source (or vice versa). If the knowledge proves false, then so is the source of the knowledge.


Wisdom calls out the bad source for what it is and advises not going back to that source for knowledge. Common sense has been brought to fruition when NOBODY goes back to that source to get knowledge.


But that isn´t the way it works in real life, is it? Nope, no matter how many have followed the example of the second person and walked around the tree, there´s always some ignoramus who insists on getting out of line and walking into the tree.


So, what causes this?  Why after years, generations, even centuries of unbusted faces does some fool go and walk into the tree again?  What happened to common sense?


(Good question.  For the answer, come back next week for part 2. Tap on Free Newsletter at the top of the page and enter your email to make sure you don’t miss it.  Wouldn’t want to leave you hanging.)

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