I know I’m right! No, I completely disagree! How could you believe that? I’m sure it will never happen!
Our brain and our emotions lead us to taking strong positions like the above. The frequency of statements is quite astounding.
We all choose to grow intellectually and emotionally in different ways. We each gain great experience and what we call knowledge. We might say we have become very knowledgeable. The truth is we will have discovered we know very little in the grand scheme of things.
Many great philosophers have said the more knowledge is pursued the more we find how little we know. Also, great minds have had a very difficult time determining the conditions that result in information becoming knowledge.
It is quite remarkable how many times people will answer a question with a strong or detail answer when the proper statement would have been, “I don’t know.” Equally befuddling is when one states a belief and receives a response such as, “No, that’s not true.” The only right answer is to say, “Oh, but it is true; how can you say I do not believe what I say I believe?” These examples may seem silly to many people. Perhaps they are silly, perhaps not. Subtle changes in the ways in which we humans interact can become the foundations of vast cultural change.
We will have discovered, on our joyful journey to happiness, a perspective on what we do not know is much more important in life than what we do know.
The great end of life is not knowledge but action
Thomas Henry Huxley
This is a OneRoad Traveled RoadSign. We will have discovered on our joyful pursuit of happiness that a perspective on what we do not know is much more important than what we do know.
Change can be instantaneous. Change can take centuries. Sometimes a change appears instantaneous when the truth is one or more people have been working on the change for a very long time. The longer something has been stable, the more difficult it is to change and the longer it may take to change.
We sometimes try to change something and discover it remains the same. We will have found on our life journey it is best to learn from this and to never assume it will remain the same forever. Without additional action, we may find the change long, long afterward.
We may not become aware of a change. That does not mean we made no impact. It may simply mean we do not know about it. A perspective on what we do not know is much more important than what we do know.
The impact each individual has on others, both present and far into the future, is much greater than is known. We shall rejoice as often as we can in the positive impact we will have had on others, some of which we will know nothing about (while on this earth).
Great choices without much knowledge! Read on and you, too, can make great choices, impress your friends, and not know squat.
Assume someone we do not know is described to us, we are given most all the information that makes this person who they are, and it becomes crystal clear they have made solid, effective, and lasting choices for their life journey. What would be our first reaction? It would vary by individual, but I believe most would say, “this must be a very smart person.” We would probably agree and move on with our journey.
There is, however, another point of view: This person has focused their attention on their specific journey with an attitude of progress.
A perspective on what we do not know is infinitely more important than what we do know. Omnipotence is not an option for human beings.
This is a roadsign for our journey to a joyful pursuit of happiness.
Speedy action, slow but sure, haste makes waste, what are we waiting for?!!
There is always an issue of how long we spend thinking about a choice before we make it. When we judge others taking too long to take action we call them a procrastinator. When we judge they are acting too quickly we label them too hasty.
The truth is we do not have all relevant information for any given choice. We are not all knowing. Perhaps the most important aspects of a choice in life is how much information do we choose to pursue and how much we choose to believe the information. Some of us are wired to have a bias to make the choice quickly based on the information we do have. Some of us tend toward gathering additional information until we feel we have identified all the options and considered each option thoroughly.
There is no right or wrong in most choices we make on a daily basis. It varies greatly by individual and by the nature of the choice.
Learn about life and about yourself by considering the results of your own choices. Include learning about the results of choices of others you know and trust. Do not dwell on the choices you made you believe you could have made better. We all have a tendency to beat ourselves up and continue to regret poor choices. It is by far best to learn from it and move on with our personal life journey.
When we “think about” a choice it is common to use words such as assess, consider, deliberate, estimate, evaluate, and weigh. Each word has meaning which varies somewhat. Let us choose “assess” as our word for thinking about choices. Assess is the one word that brings in both the ideas of considering and evaluating.
The next few posts on OneRoad will be about assessing.
By the way, the only word in Roget’s New Millenium Thesaurus that has exactly the above list of synonyms is balance.
For most choices we make in life there are multiple options.
In the classroom tests take on various structures, multiple choice, true-false, fill-in-the-blank, short answer, and essay. Answers are graded by the teacher as right or wrong in most cases and a judgment is made in the others. Many take this model into life after school and believe there are mostly right and wrong answers and the judgment of those in authority is the correct judgment.
Life does not work this way. Best choices in life vary substantially by individual. We are each wired with different sets of strengths, weaknesses, and motivations. Absolute right or wrong is rare. Choices in life are much closer to the multiple choice questions with the answer: all the above.
Feeling we don’t know the answer in the classroom creates concern and stress. Feeling we don’t know the answers in life creates an enormous amount of unnecessary stress in this world. A perspective on what we do not know is infinitely more important than what we do know.