How do you know everything?
I laughed. Of course, I don’t know but a miniscule fraction of everything, and the person who said it knew it as well. I had simply explained something she wasn’t aware of, which has happened in reverse much more often over the years. She knows so much more than I do. The brief exchange prompted me to consider: How well do we rely on others? What sources do we trust? Knowing everything isn’t a realistic goal; not to mention, we’d miss out on the camaraderie and cooperation of learning from and alongside others. As we gather information, how do we test it? What are our checks and balances to continually question what is accurate and what isn’t while having some stability? What do we readily accept and absorb?
We have access to so much information. We can get the answer to just about any question by asking Alexa or Google. We find instructions on YouTube. With so much information literally at our fingertips and voice commands, we begin to believe we are experts. We get to determine many of our own facts if we don’t like what’s presented. It’s like a convoluted multiple choice approach to hide-and-seek truth-or-dare. It’s a game that lets us feel like winners when we’re losing more than we want to accept. Because we feel confident in what we can access on our own, we stand tall and proud—without realizing the shaky ground beneath us.
We’re deceiving ourselves and missing out. We’re creating pods of false confidence and misunderstandings. We are limiting our truth checks while claiming we fact check everything. As long as we can get people like us to affirm us, we feel confident. But confidence is not always indicative of reality. We can be confident in the wrong things. We can be sincerely wrong. Every one of us is at times…repeatedly.
Can we at least be aware of our process and be willing to grow? Can we be open to conversation and correction? Can we be okay with face-to-face questions and discussions? Can we open ourselves and the information we think we know to authentic questions and testing?
Can we at least admit there is always room for change and growth as each of us continues to learn?