This post is going to be about some of the lessons I have learned about having challenges in my life. Some revelations come from my readers and some were revealed by other methods. The picture above almost entails everything that is needed to appreciate this post.Read more
There are some people in this world who are just not opened to the possibility that they don’t know everything about everything. It’s interesting to note that mentality was one of the primary causes of “Early Middle Ages”, otherwise known a the “Dark Ages” between the years 500-1000. Basically, the church, which pretty much ruled the world after the fall of the Roman Empire, declared that everything God intends us to know has already been learned. This basically halted all scientific exploration as well as philosophical studies for a five hundred year period. Yeah, the church was that powerful!
Getting back to today’s “I already know everything” people, global warming can’t be true because they don’t believe it. In other words, if something is too complicated then it’s fake. They too often look for that single “silver bullet” that will cure everything. Everything that can’t be solved with gut feeling or a silver bullet just isn’t solvable to them.
Even if they are not formally educated on the subject they consider themselves to be “street smart” and that is all that matters to them. Many of this category likely make up the MAGA base.
In reality, the more knowledgeable you are the more you realize how much you don’t know. That brings to mind something I learned in my only philosophy course in college. The graphic below illustrates the concept.
Just think of the box as the extent of knowledge available to you. The top left corner is what you know. The little box inside that box are the things you think you know but aren’t true. Then comes the bigger box of what you know you don’t know. And finally, there is what you don’t even know that you don’t know. Don’t think of the above as being to scale. In reality, the “what you don’t know you don’t know” will fill a football stadium!
Since I found so many neat illustrations I will leave this post with a few of them.
Getting back to the guy who thinks he is an expert on everything (you know who I am talking about), we must realize that he actually doesn’t know much of anything at all and a big majority of what he thinks he knows is wrong. But, the sad part of all of this is that those MAGA followers are even worse than he is, as they unquestionably believe him!
This is going to be a pretty philosophical post so be ready.
The three words in the title above are a strong part of what I want to be when I grow up. I realize that these things don’t happen overnight. They are instead a lifelong process. I proudly think I have come quite a way in obtaining them now that I am beginning my eighth decade on this earth. A few more and maybe they will be complete. 🙂
Just kidding of course, but these three characteristics do take a long time to mold into a psyche. Which is harder to obtain? They all take different paths to accomplish. I think the secret behind wit is the ability to see the irony around you and the ability to laugh at yourself and how you react to the world. Or maybe it is just realizing that for the most part life is really just one big joke.
Wisdom is a lifelong process and since I have lead a pretty long life I think I am to one degree or another wise. In order to be wise, you must first have been foolish. Wisdom does not come from always being perfect but instead, it comes from making mistakes and realizing there was a better way. After a couple thousand cycles of this, you might finally be able to proclaim wisdom. I might just be getting close
Insight is another matter. Insight is being able to understand different situations and intuitively grasping the best solution. I’m not sure this can even be learned. Either you have it or you don’t. But being skeptical of what you are told is part of this process.
Good judgment comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment – Will Rogers
It’s time I put out a post on the new quote in the header above. I think experience and wisdom often go hand in hand and as Will says learning from mistakes is a big part of it. I personally think I can remember more details of the things I got wrong than the things I got right.
Due to my Aspie characteristics, I made a lot of social mistakes. Looking back I can see where opportunities were presented to me that I just wasn’t aware of at the time. People giving me hints that they wanted to have a relationship with me if I would only agree. I was a wimpy kid who simply couldn’t believe that anyone would be interested in me as a person.
Not standing up for myself was another place where I learned from my mistakes. I simply let too many people take advantage of my naivete. Looking back I can see where I was a pretty gifted guy and quite a few people took credit for things I did. I just didn’t realize at the time it was happening.
My mistakes in the past have taught me the good judgment I now have. It is not that I can go back and relive those times, but at least I try to use my current good judgment on today’s circumstances. Maybe this is another example of “Wisdom is wasted on the elderly”. I don’t know.
I don’t know if I invented the phrase in the title above, I kinda doubt it, but it does pretty much describe how I feel about the subject. Getting to the very core of this subject I wish I had learned most of my lessons earlier in life. What good is that wisdom now that I am out of the mainstream and heading downhill? If I had just learned some lessons earlier I could have more successfully addressed the problems in my life.
I like to think that I am a better person as a result of looking at the world from a different view. At the time I didn’t realize that my Asperberger’s traits were not how all my classmates saw things. I couldn’t understand why I was so clumsy with many interactions with others, especially female others. It would be years before I realized that there are many others out there in the same straits that I traveled. I could have learned a thing or two from them.
Many claim their legacy is the children and grandchildren they leave behind. Maybe due to the fact that I leave no heirs, I kinda think that is the lazy way to think of it. Will I leave a mark on this earth after I am gone? I think I will but with these kinds of things you never really know. But, that is kind of what RJsCorner is about. I always kid that I want to show others all the mistakes in hope that they can learn from them and not have to make the same ones I did.
I get weekly quotes from iHearts143Quotes to help me understand life. This one particularly got my attention. It might seem strange to some but I have often said that I am a better person because of my deafness. What I mean by that is that through the challenges I have faced because of my deafness has made me much more aware of those who struggle in life. My empathy factor went up several orders of magnitude because of my deafness.
I have come to realize that my inflictions and afflictions (ha) add to the quality of my life. I was poor growing up but didn’t really know it. But because I was poor I have more empathy for those who struggle to keep their head above water.
We all face wounds in our lives and if we turn off the self-pity they produce and try to learn something from them we are better, wiser as a result.
Wisdom has been on my mind lately. But before I get started on this topic I need to distinguish between two types of perceived wisdom, gut wisdom and learned wisdom.
Gut Wisdom — Gut wisdom is that feeling you get when you think you instinctively know something. It’s what your gut tells you is the truth. I know the current Oval Office occupant says he is REALLY SMART but I think his self-conceived wisdom is just his biases toward the issue at hand. He may be gut wise but he is definitely not learned wise.
I have to include my wife in the gut wise category. She says statistics are fake because she doesn’t understand them. What her gut tells her is much more reliable than what others who might be more studied on the topic think about the topic at hand. I am an engineer by schooling and took several courses in various fields. One of those was thermal dynamics. I try to impart some of that wisdom to her but she will have nothing to do with that. I tell her if you want cool night air in one part of the house the best way to do that is to open a window there and then blow air out the other side of the house. But she will not accept that as her gut wisdom tells her that is not true.
Let’s be truthful about this, gut wisdom is usually just a set of prejudices we learn over time. Gut wisdom is easy to obtain and difficult to expel.
Learned Wisdom — Learned wisdom is among other things about the scientific method. It is about searching for truth. It is learning from the wisdom of others and maybe just adding a little to it before applying it or passing it on. Learned wisdom is something that takes time and often due diligence to obtain. It’s hard work. Sometimes it takes years of study to really be wise on a topic. Other times a few days will enable us to just make an informed choice. But it is always about admitting you don’t know something and then doing what is necessary to find the answers.
I like to think of myself as learned wise. If I want to speak up about a topic I study it to see what others have to teach me and then given that information and my personal experiences I try to fabricate my view on the topic. I admit that I don’t know what I don’t know. I look for people wherever I can find them that know more than I do. I value their wisdom.
One of the basic problems today is the people, especially those who are gut wise, who refuse to acknowledge that others know more than they do. When learned wisdom is not valued we as a society quit moving forward. And, that is a sad and dangerous thing…