Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Knowing less tomorrow than today

While pursuit of education and knowledge is a journey lasting a lifetime, it seems that more effort is required at this point in my life than the past. 

When I think about my formal education that began so long ago in elementary school, there was this predictable progression about it with loads of structure such as exams, quizzes, report cards, diplomas, degrees and the like.  This allowed me to see progress in ways that now seem so much more subtle.

Certainly, there’s continuing education I’m required to complete as a condition for keeping my professional license.  I also spend personal time reading about stuff of interest to me such as fitness and health-related topics having a middle-aged man orientation.  And I do read to learn more about my faith but it’s fair to say not as much as I should.  There’s always tomorrow I tell myself in private reply to those “I should” moments.

The internet has given me easy access to information never before imaginable.  What I can now have in rapid-fire clicks of a computer mouse would have taken hours and days in a library not so long ago.  

But does this information I can now have so quickly add to my knowledge?  And if it does, does this added knowledge I have add to my wisdom?  I’m beginning to wonder.

This information I gather is nothing more than facts provided or learned about something or someone, nothing more and nothing less.  Of itself, information may not add to my knowledge.

This adds new meaning to a question I sometimes ask myself when deciding if I should read an article beyond the headline:  “What am I going to do with this information?”

This is because knowledge is the fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association.  Just because I have new information doesn't mean it has added to my knowledge. 

We all know someone, and maybe that someone is me, suffering from Mr. Know-it-all Syndrome; that smarty-pants, smart aleck, wise guy who behaves as if he know everything?

We’ve also heard the saying and maybe have said it at times when referring to the Mr. Know-it-all characters in our lives:  “You’re smart but you have no common sense.”

What good is knowledge I have if I don’t know how to use it for my good and the good of others.  That’s wisdom, the quality of having experience, knowledge and good judgment and the quality of being wise.

So in my continuing pursuit of education for new information  and knowledge, let my efforts err on the side of gaining wisdom even if that means knowing less tomorrow than today.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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