Challenging our own thinking LO11921
Tue, 14 Jan 1997 21:24:59 -0500 (EST)

Replying to LO11869 --

Tony Barrett wrote:

>> "Our vision is more obstructed by what we think we know than by our lack
>> of knowledge."

>> I think the key to learning is a healthy humility. A clear sign that we
>> are carrying "old" knowledge rather than learning each day is when we have
>> lost a child like wonder about all these is to learn. My daughter, who is
>> a year and a half old, is a great teacher. It is unfortunate that
>> epistemology has a pedantic connotation.

Tony, the simplicity of what you said sunk deep into my heart. For reasons
I don't understand and can't explain, people I work with, live with, and
associate with seem to think I'll always have the answer to complex

I sit in my office and people come in and tell me their personal problems,
share their deepest fears and greatest ambitions, or present difficult
work problems and expect me to have the answers. Often times I just laugh
and say, "How the hell am I supposed to know?"

This takes it toll on me in a number of ways.

First, I worry about other people. For instance, today I had a woman in my
office... What can I do to help her? And I think similar thoughts about a
whole lot of people.

Second, I get to thinking I do know all the answers (or at least can find
the answers). Why shouldn't I think that? Other people do! And, sure
enough, more often than not my answers produce good results! In the last
few weeks I've noticed my tendency to think this way. I've been exploring
why I think this way, and how it impacts my ability to learn. Your message
was a real knock on the head! Thanks!

Third, because I'm so willing to help solve problems (and because people
let/want me to do it) I'm limiting others opportunity to learn. I've got
to push back a little, I think. May be I'm catching a bunch of fish for
people but never teaching them how to fish. Ironically, when I do try to
teach them how to fish they panic and run away.

Thanks for making me think. . .


Benjamin B. Compton

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