In the July 6, 1970 edition of Newsweek, Daniel J. Boorstin wrote, “Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know.” But some people act like they have nothing more to learn—that’s right, they know it all. They have all the answers. Not only do know-it-all’s know everything there is about anything, they’re eager to point out how much you and I don’t know squat. You would think there would be lines of people waiting to talk to know-it-all’s. Just to have an opportunity to speak with someone with all the answers would be right up there with the ultimate spiritual experience.
On the contrary, that has not been my experience with these types of individuals. How about you? People seem to not respect others who will not admit limitations, and appear to have all the answers. Earning the respect and admiration of others has little to do with proclaimed knowledge and more to do with a willingness to admit weaknesses and mistakes.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. was respected as one of the most outstanding justices in the history of the U.S. Supreme Court. He was popular as the Great Dissenter because he disagreed with what the other judges claimed to know and changed the vision of law. Holmes sat on the Supreme Court until he was 91. Two years later, President Roosevelt visited him and found him reading Plato “to remain improving my mind” Holmes said.
There’s the kind of humble knowledge worth standing in line for. Today, earn the respect of others and acknowledge what you do not know. –Dr. Sandy