I noticed I’ve written another post about Ignorance as well. Seems like it’s a big and controversial word. Anyway, that post was more of a rant on ignorance but this is an entirely opposite perspective, in face, a rather positive one.
A few things that happened recently kept reminding of a speech by Seth Godin at TED. In a part of the speech, he mentioned that the modern generation of consumers are the most self-centered generation of consumers. Once upon the time, it used to be that consumers have little choices in products and more time to learn and understand about the products. However, in today’s market, it’s the exact opposite. We so much more choices and so much little time. And naturally, we learn to not pay attention to irrelevant things. In the sense, we started to ignore stuffs. We ignore products that is irrelevant to us, products that we don’t need, products that we don’t want, products that we don’t think we need, products that we don’t care. etc.. And the thing about ignorance is that it’s convenient and contagious. So eventually, we just ignore products in general and then finally, just generally ignore stuffs…
I’m not here to say it’s bad because I just had a sudden revelation that sometime this ignorance is very much breed by external factors. These past few weeks, everytime I went out, I always get aggressively stopped by some salesman/women or these group of people who call themselves “financial planner”. Initially, I out of courtesy I stopped to listen to what they have to say despite the fact that I don’t really care about their product and I’m going to say no anyway no matter how good their product is. But most of them seem to take that courtesy for granted and became annoyingly pushy after having my attention, especially the “financial planners”. After hearing all they have to say about their product, I just replied “Thank you, but I’m not interested.” but they refused to let me go and began to bombard me with those typical self-guilt inducing questions.
“Are you the type who spend before you save?”
“Do you want to always rely on your parent’s support during financial emergency.”
“Are you planning to start a family? don’t you think starting your financial planning now will be very beneficial for you future family and yourself?”
etc. etc. and the list goes on and on…
Finally, the golden question and also their ultimate attack. “If you think so and I can tell you understand the importance of financial management, then why are you not taking any action?”
For people who don’t know any better, they would fell for the guilt and think twice, and that’s when the “planner” won. I gotta say though for the first few times I was also take aback but after so many encounter of the same old charade. My tolerance level decrease tremendously and the ignorance level shot up uncontrollably. On the rare occasion, it was so bad that I just want to speak the truth to them. “Even if I want to save money, I will also not let you be my financial planner. When after I courteously spare you 10 mins of my time, not even for 1 second of those 10 mins you paid any attention to my needs or showed any genuine trying to understand me. So how do you expect me to believe that you can and will take care of my financial planning? The whole time all I have observed was you trying to make me pay for something I don’t care about and have no interest in. And when I politely rejected you, you turned on me and trying to make me feel guilty.”
Despite wearing the difference in title, I think financial planners are pretty much salesman. So like every salesman, they should pay attention what Seth Godin mentioned. Consumers are self-centered. Once you ignore that, they ignore you. So anyway, back to ignore. So yes after the recent frequent encounters of such events. Well, naturally, I’ve finally learn to do what most consumers have been doing—ignore. Just wear earphone, pretend to be on call, or even pretending they weren’t there. Anything to make them not approach you. And I began to realize that this is probably how some of us start to be ignorant about things around them. This is massive societal effect. We may can still argue that ignorance is sometime the things that helps us keeping focus on what we’re doing. But let’s not forget that it also means sometimes end up ignoring things that’re relevant and important to us along with the many things that we ignore. Therefore, it’s important to pause to look out for things that matter while we’re ignoring things that don’t.