L.S. Barksdale, excerpted from the book Building Self-Esteem:
Awareness (includes knowing/knowledge/wisdom): How clearly one perceives, understands and evaluates, both consciously and nonconsciously, everything that affects our lives.
Awareness is the automatic product, so far, of our heredity, our Inner Knowing, and our total life experience.
[We cannot know more than what we have learned based on our awareness in early points in time and our environment. We are not responsible nor to blame for not having progressed more than it was possible for us to progress because of our limited awareness, as that awareness is not something we have control over. However, it will behoove us to operate from this truth and to focus on increasing our awareness.
But there is no fault here. There is no reason for criticism or regret. It is simply what is so.]
IT IS FIXED AT ANY GIVEN POINT IN TIME
At any given point in time our awareness is what it is - and no more.
How wisely or unwisely we may act is completely determined by the relevant factors of our awareness, for it is the pertinent factors of our awareness that determine our every choice. To the degree that our perception and understanding of "what is" are limited and distorted, will our needs and actions be distorted, inappropriate and destructive.
A FREQUENT MISINTERPRETATION
Some people may see the affirmation of this truth as setting up an excuse for bad behavior. It is not. But the "truth" is about not blaming a person for not knowing more, but still being responsible for correcting any harm.
"Despite any appearances to the contrary, I excuse no one from paying the price for self-destructive or antisocial behavior, since ignorance does not alter the adverse effects of one's hurtful acts, or relieve one of responsiblity for any cause and effect relationships set in motion by such acts."