Most of us can remember the day when we learned something significant about life. Some revelation came to us out of the clear blue that had always been there, but we had missed it until that moment. Somehow, we are changed by this new insight; and yet, fundamentally who we are remains the same.
How can this be?
Intuitively we know that these moments of clarity and new insight only come through experience, but before they come, we often feel confident enough in what we presently know to make important decisions. Those two concepts together should warn us how inherently weak our logical processing is, but somehow, we aren’t bothered enough by it to become reticent.
Especially when we are young, we cram our heads with knowledge to the point we feel confident that we can take on whatever might come. And should someone ask for our counsel, we are quick to give them some sage advice. Yes, we sometimes slow down a little in our response time as we age, but we typically remain secure in the knowledge that we know enough to be able to give advice away freely.
However, if we stop for a moment and think about the things that we know, and those clarifying insights which have come to us over the years, it should become clear how poorly equipped we really are.
Take a little time now…try it.
What newer insights that you now know seem essential to you?
Which things are you sure of that you weren’t a few years ago?
The tricky thing in this life is that we are still responsible for what we don’t know.
Ignorance of the laws of our universe are not an excuse for not following them. If you watch a two-year-old walk off a chair we see this fact well exemplified.
Each day we make decisions that we are often not really qualified to make that if we had better specific knowledge, we would likely make them differently.
The point of reflection is not to stop us from making decisions that often need to be made, rather, it is to help us make them with a little more caution. This is something very few people do consistently.
The truth is we live life as if we have some kind of “get out of jail card” in our pocket, so that if we don’t understand our problems clearly then we must get a pass, though this “card” is only a figment of our imagination. In truth, if we stop and think about it, we know we are judged on decisions that we know little about. A few examples of these are: if we eat poorly, it might cause cancer; or if we text while driving we could end up injuring someone; or maybe we overspend and have little in retirement because of it.
There are countless decisions we make with poor knowledge all through our lives, yet so few pause and realize the consequences of what they are doing. Fewer yet seem to stop and obtain the needed knowledge that would keep them from making more bad decisions.
Yes, as humans we are flawed people, but how flawed is something within our ability to alter.