I have a clue – “The more you know, the more you realize you don’t know” So, so, true… Lets get right to it.
I thought the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock… oops.
I thought Rosa Parks was the first person to refuse to give up her seat and subsequently spark a political and legal battle reaching the Supreme Court, forever changing the landscape of civil rights… oops.
I thought our tax rates were high… oops.
I thought I’d recognize a drowning person and be able to save them… oops.
I thought Ben Franklin was pretty clever with that whole kite/key thing… oops
I thought, as a teen, that my parents had lost touch with the “modern” world; and that I knew more than they did about life in the 80′s… big, big, big oops. (25 years later… I’m really glad I started listening to them again along the way, and still do to this day.)
You get the idea… this is just a random sampling of some of the “shocks” I have experienced over the years as my knowledge base has grown. Over the past week, as I’ve been writing about these “lies” I have changed my mind regarding what I was going to write about – and from what angle I was going to write it – more times than I’d like to admit to, in fact… perhaps more times than I’m even aware of.
It fascinates me, as I expand my knowledge base and uncertainty asserts itself as the only logical result, that I am simultaneously expected to carry myself as more confident, assured, and informed. I am certainly more practiced, and it is probably also true that I am better able to anticipate probable outcomes/solutions to situations based on that experience.
I have far more curiosities and unanswered questions now than at any other point in my life, and yet, I package myself (as society seems to demand) as an informed, au currant, decision making machine. My family expects it, my job expects it, my friends expect it… everyone expects it; and, not wanting to disappoint, I deliver results; confident, self-assured, actionable results.
What I wonder – and at times worry – about is how many babies are getting thrown out with the bath water of “common knowledge” or educated assumptions bordering on braggadocio. How many learning or growing opportunities are being passed over in favor of demonstrating my intellectual cachet.
That is part of what this week has been about. Questioning things I am uncertain (or even things I am certain) about… poking the soft underbelly of confidence.
When you work out you break down muscles, and then they rebuild themselves, stronger than they were. You build a more solid foundation and are able to do more – expand yourself further – based upon that. I believe that any exercise in self-reflection and self-assessment works the same way.
Whether it’s the knowledge that I really need to prepare to be the best I can be or that even if I do that prep work, things still may not go my way… and that’s okay too; that at any given moment I can be the worst parent on the block, but it doesn’t mean I am bad, and it doesn’t mean I don’t love my kids beyond belief and wouldn’t move heaven and earth for them; or the realization that there isn’t much point criticizing others when my life is such a work in progress itself… the bottom line is I am stronger when acknowledging my weaknesses. I am (and will become) more capable, knowing what I cannot (currently) accomplish.
So… perhaps the next time I’m lecturing my kids on morals and conduct, and they think I am out of touch and don’t have a clue; I’ll throw them a curve ball and let them know they are right, I don’t. Then together, we – the clueless – can go out in search of answers. It kinda sounds fun… put that way… way cooler than walking to and from school in the snow… barefoot… uphill… both ways… who does that?!!?!??!?