#fpq written for a Fandango Provocative Question

This poem is a response to a quote from Bertrand Russel, a philosopher and mathematician from the last century. This was a writing prompt posted by #fpq. Recently I spent time in Cambodia, a place still suffering from the effects of the Khmer Rouge regime. During the Khmer Rouge roughly one quarter to one third was killed when a segment of there intelligentsia took over assuming they knew best. This was in no way a unique event in history.

In many ways I see the truth to this quote from Russel. I wrote this poem however thinking of those who would use this sort of quote to support the tyranny of the educated class.

“The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world, the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubts.” -Bertrand Russell

Perhaps in pondering less
Of what one doesn’t know or can’t know
One can ponder what one does know

There is more wisdom to a garden well tended
And loving neighbors without conditions
Than rechewing regurgitated questions

We mistake knowledge for wisdom
facts for truth, education for intelligence,
Our society is confused

It is true, “the majority is always wrong”(Mark Twain)
And the stupid tend to sing the loudest song
Doing what is right in our own eyes all along

The problem is pride, usurping God’s place
The stupid take pride in knowing, the intelligent in doubts
Humility a sadly lacking grace

Perhaps if we know truth, and feel the soil in our hands
Recall the wisdom of the wise who have walked the land
Living humbly, loving those we can

Perhaps the intelligent will be satisfied with answers
And the stupid will learn to doubt

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