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I Can’t Read

Photo by Claudia Wolff on Unsplash
Photo by Claudia Wolff on Unsplash

Have you ever seen a word or someone’s name and said to yourself, “not gonna even try.” Then you hear it and it turns out to be way easier to say than you thought. The longer we sit and think about something rather than acting on it, the longer we leave it in the realm of impossibility. If we leave it there too long, it becomes impossible. If we had just taken a small step, we would have seen how easy it actually was. A small step like asking someone how to say their name, or how they overcame a certain fear that took them to a new level in life. We find that it’s easy to pronounce the word or name that seemed impossible. We find that it’s easy to pronounce the steps of a process that seemed impossible.

People are afraid to admit they don’t know everything. If I have to ask you how to do something, that means I don’t know everything and I’ve somehow internalized that if I ask a question then I’m weak, stupid, or have nothing to offer the world. Asking questions is associated with weakness when it actually takes a lot more strength to admit you have no idea about something and need some help.

By the way, you’re never going to know everything. Sorry for the blow to your ego, but yeah, you’ll never have all the answers down. Even if you’re not a God person this is an interesting thought; omniscience, which means all-knowing (i.e. knowing everything), is a characteristic attributed to God. You have a whole new set of issues if you think you’re capable of attaining one of God’s attributes. But hey, aim high! Do you 🙂

Why do you think that when you’ve read the same book more than once, you discover “new” things? You’ve read those things before but life experience has grown you to new and deeper levels of understanding. Also, you’ve forgotten that you had that knowledge at one time. It’s been replaced with new knowledge. I studied Biology when I was in college. I could do a pretty good job at explaining various biological and chemical processes when I’d deliver presentations on them. I can’t call to mind all of the things right now that I knew then unless I went back and read over that material. So I don’t even know things that I knew!

The point here is to ask questions. The worst and most terrible question in the world is a question that’s gone unasked. This is sort of a reflection of the plea I’d make with the math classes I taught at the college. Ask questions. Seek understanding. A lot of times the things you need to know are outside of yourself.

If I really tried reflecting on all of the things that I don’t know, it would be a long list. Actually, I don’t even know what I don’t know.


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