Years ago I had yet another experience that exposed my vast ignorance. I was in my favorite bookstore in the world, which is adjacent to the University of Chicago. I browsed the new books section, and then explored the rest of the store. Seeing the countless books I have not read, I found myself questioning how much knowledge I actually have. And concluded: not much.
I felt like the Self-Made Man in Sartre's novel Nausea, who lived in the Paris library. His life goal was to read every book from A to Z. At the end of his life he had not advanced out of the As, since more and more new books that began with the letter A were published, and he had to read them as well. For Sartre, this was another example of the futility of humanity (akin to Camus's Sisyphus). We are, truly, shallow people.
So, I am ignorant. Mostly, I view people as also ignorant, because it is true. This is where philosophers like me land when, e.g., we read someone like Wittgenstein. We get humbled, quickly.
What is most needed today are deep people. People with wisdom, and discernment. Pondering, meditative people.
People who have an inner stability that cannot be uprooted during the storms of life that today surround us, and break their waves upon the shores of our heart.
People who see the face and hands of God and impart hope.
Deep people are stable people. Shallow-rooted people are surface people who skim over the internet world of disconnected data. Shallow people mistake knowledge for wisdom.
Here is Henri Nouwen writing on spiritual depth.
"Trees that grow tall have deep roots. Great height without great depth is dangerous. The great leaders of this world - like St. Francis, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr., - were all people who could live with public notoriety, influence, and power in a humble way because of their deep spiritual rootedness. Without deep roots we easily let others determine who we are. But as we cling to our popularity, we may lose our true sense of self. Our clinging to the opinion of others reveals how superficial we are. We have little to stand on. We have to be kept alive by adulation and praise.Those who are deeply rooted in the love of God can enjoy human praise without being attached to it."
Think of Psalm 1, and do it.