A little learning

“A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again.” – Alexander Pope

Sound travels faster in denser mediums. If you attend enough meetings, you will gain enough knowledge to “sound” intelligent. You will lack originality and continue to regurgitate only what you have heard, without any understanding of your own. It is easy to tell such people apart. They hate to be asked “Why?”, because they lack the required experience, sensitivity and understanding to clearly articulate their point of view. Just as they swallowed what they heard hook, line and sinker, they expect same from all. They assume their approach is smart, so fellow smart people should not ask any questions from them. They should just get it. Um, No, actually, as you learn, more questions arise, fewer answers are absolute and as the reality of how much you do not know and still need to seek hits you, humility sets in.

Just as you cannot learn how to drive by watching Formula One, or how to play football by watching La Liga Santander, or how to cook by watching Master Chef; you cannot learn how to be without doing.

Confidence is stimulating, but as you grow, you come to understand more, what Charles Darwin meant when he said, “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.” I have come to test my confidence not by how I sound or how I look, but by how I act, especially in unrehearsed conditions. Questions are the most common unrehearsed condition.

Be worried when all your interpretation of the world is from the news, social media, books, people and other external stimuli. They help, but there is value in doing and reflecting. The experiences of life are supposed to help you pay attention, but if those experiences were never had, but only heard or read, how can you build your sensitivity. Your appreciation of reality will be remote, always requiring an external prompt.

“A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that’s unlocked and opens inwards; as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

– Osasu Oviawe

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