Wednesday, November 6, 2013

ne plus ignorer

I discovered the poster below in the metro in Paris several months ago.

"Ignorer" is one of those French verbs that I have always been fond of.  Which is funny, now that I think about it, because I almost never use it.  However, I tend to pay more attention when I notice it in a text.

As you may guess, "ignorer" means "to ignore" in English.  But it is a second and less apparent meaning that always gets me: "to not know".  I used to think that stating publicly in French that you "ignored" an important matter resembled an act of defiance, but now I understand that it might also be you simply admitting that you do not know what the matter was!

Which brings us back to the poster.  The lovely thing here, I think, is that both meanings work after translation.

A student in difficulty is a child who ignores his strong points.
A student in difficulty is a child who does not know his strong points.

Now if we apply this message to our lives:

Maybe we find ourselves in certain difficult situations because do not know our gifts?
And when we do know these gifts, maybe we still find ourselves in difficult situations because we ignore them?

Here's to us always knowing our gifts and no longer ignoring them.

In other words, "ne plus ignorer".

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