A long time ago, people believed the sun revolved around the earth and that bloodletting was an effective way to treat a variety of ailments. We now know none of those previous ‘truths’ are true.
Decisions are made based on what we know at the time. Sometimes, poor decisions are made when all the facts or factors are not known. Sometimes, the opposite is true: For example:
- When we know we’re not good enough or smart enough or rich enough or poor enough, we give up before we start.
- Compassion dies and conflict flourishes when we use our knowledge to judge others who have chosen to live or act differently than what we know (believe) to be right.
- When we know young people are lazy and old people have lost their usefulness, we lose the opportunity to see our world from a new perspective and perhaps, in the process, gain new insight and new ideas.
Many times, what we ‘know’ is nothing more than misconceptions, current societal expectations or even other’s truths we have taken on as our own. Just because something didn’t work once, doesn’t mean it will never work again. Just because it didn’t work for someone else, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. It takes courage to put aside what we know and ask:
- Is that really true?
- Is there a better way?
Knowledge is fluid. Recognize, value and respect the knowledge, experience and wisdom you have, but don’t stop pushing against boundaries of that knowledge.
This is a revised version of a blog posted way back in 2013. I am working with a group of very dedicated people and as we continue to grow and improve, all of us have, at times, had to be reminded to open our minds and be willing to put aside what we know.