Dear Why Team member,
I hope this week’s message finds you well, comfortable with your ignorance and open to learning :-)
Did me asking you to get comfortable with your ignorance sting? Notice who calls you ignorant and pause and consider if it’s really true; in the end, we don’t know what we don’t know. Why have so many come to feel that being called ignorant is a criticism? Maybe because those who use the word to define others are declaring themselves to be on the side of knowledge and thus superior to those who don’t know?!
Unfortunately, this can close a mind quickly to new information as the feeling of superiority must be protected.
The know-it-all rarely learns at all.
Last week, I shared 2 steps to help us live our Best Year Ever:
Be accountable, including knowing when we’re ignorant and taking it as a positive to expand our knowledge and Be Flexible as the information we receive may apply immediately to our lives or could help develop us in the future.
Let’s look at 2 other steps we can take to have our Best Year Ever:
Embrace the glorious ignorance we all will have all our days.
Familiar with the old (Romanian) saying: man is born dumb and dies stupid? Meaning: We will not ever learn all there is to learn and the limiting habit of hubris to embrace and hold tightly our comforting conclusions (CCs) does more than anything else I can imagine to limit our growth for self and grace for others. Our Egos love the illusion of self-righteous all-knowing; and the bigger the ego the smaller we become: learning less and growing farther apart from others.
One of my favorites:
There are only two types of people in the world: those who are humble and those who are about to be.
Yes! That which reduces the ego that separates us means more togetherness, compassion and grace.
I once heard ego used as an acronym:
EGO: Ease God Out
Well, no matter your beliefs, this is interesting, if God is out, who’s left in? Oh maybe without humility one’s own thoughts and ideas become their God?! Hmm..
How attached are you to your ideas - which may be where we get ideology.
I don’t know - ahh, blessed ignorance to grow.
How arrogant have some become - becoming judge, jury and executioner. It must be tough for those who feel they must carry so much responsibility.
I have found belief, humility and faith very powerful for lightening the load.
Step #4 for your Best Year Ever:
Be Humble- and don’t brag about it ;-)
This step naturally progresses after Step #3 embracing ignorance.
Consider your conversations and specifically debates with others. How much effort do you make to see the other person’s point of view? Or do you find yourself demanding others to see the world and/or issues as you do? Notice your internal dialogue when the words of another begin to bother you - do you define them as offensive? Is it the person who is offending you or is it your relationship with their words? Our response-ability is ours to improve and when our ability to respond to certain words or viewpoints result in reactive critical, demeaning anger, than it is us who could benefit most from another look in the mirror. Rarely is an appeal to another effective when we are angry and attempt to shame the other.
During this New Year of 2022 observe more than ever your behavior around sensitive issues. Can you embrace your ignorance enough to learn something new, or do you shut down the discussion because it makes you uncomfortable? Is it the person or the ideas or both that bother you most and do you feel superior to those you deem ignorant?
There is always so much growth to be had and if a human has done it, as humans we are capable of doing it to - both to the positive and to the negative. From last weeks blog ask “Why did I do that?” And from this weeks message add the question
“Am I humble enough to listen, learn and grow?” Not thinking less of ourselves, but thinking of ourselves less: consider the word self-less.
My daily prayer includes the desire to grow and give, learn and love; growing and learning most from the humble position of ignorance:
“I don’t know it all”.
Make it a great week!