FMM 5 10 2023 Things we don’t know

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” ~ Carl Rogers.

I am the youngest in my family.  I am sure everyone has their opinion of how their sequencing in sibling order has affected their growth and development, and there are books dedicated to that.  Aren’t oldest children supposed to be leaders?  In my case I remember always fighting when an adult exclaimed ‘Oh, you’re the baby!’ for I wanted more than anything to be taken seriously, to be grown up.  Of course that is difficult when you are the last to learn anything.  And when you do learn something, there is always someone to burst your bubble, for of course everyone knows that already!

I remember being very upset when my brother informed me that Sunday was the first day of the week.  How can that be, when Saturday and Sunday are the weekEND?  But no, he was right.  And he was right about Father Christmas (aka Santa Claus) too.  But life goes on, and eventually you realize that everyone is not born knowing everything, and even now, with years behind me, I am still startled when I make new discoveries.  It may be something simple, like misheard lyrics.  I always sang along to Ray Charles ‘Wonderful world’: ‘The bright blessed day; Dogs say goodnight’.  Imagine my surprise to hear that it is actually ‘Dark sacred night’!!  And it is embarrassing to admit that it was long after nursing school and motherhood (and I was a proud breastfeeding mother of four) to realize that only cows who have been pregnant and given birth can give milk.  Without really thinking about it I had assumed cows produce milk automatically.  No pregnancy required!

It is my great delight that I see feeds in my social media from all walks of life.  Whether it is photos of beautiful birds and flowers that a friend shares; or views of the most beautiful mountains, rivers, lakes, I am transported.  But then there are also educational snippets, or links to articles exposing me to history that I had never heard of before.  How many of us only learned of the Tulsa race riots in the last few years?  Of many practical inventions, how many were patented by African American men? Or women?  How many inspiring stories are there of people who have overcome impossible odds to succeed?  I am blessed to have a wide group of friends with a diverse set of interests, and thus get links to stories that inspire or even scare.

It is not a bad thing to walk through the world with a sense of wonder and discovery, for that is how you grow.  The scariest people of my acquaintance are those who are self-declared experts on a subject, for they have closed themselves off to the possibility of being wrong.  Unfortunately, I have worked with several such people.  They can declare facts as absolute truths, and if you follow them, you may make a terrible error. 

One of the things nurses are taught is that they must be life-long learners, for things change rapidly in the healthcare world.  Medications once thought to be life-savers are discovered to be cancer causing.  Evidence-based practice means that things you were taught forty years ago are now actually dangerous.  That is why you have to renew your CPR certification (basic life support) every two years.  Compressions that used to be done slowly are now done rapidly and to a different song (think Bee Gees ‘Staying alive’). We have to keep up.

It can be difficult to work with those who are self-declared experts, who assert strongly (and perhaps wrongly) that they know things to be facts.  Perhaps because of my childhood perspective my first response, if I disagree, is to think I must have gotten it wrong.  Perhaps it comes from a dislike of confrontation, I don’t want to contradict someone and challenge their facts.  Perhaps I have it wrong.  So then I have to research, dig deeper only to discover that I was right! 

The great researchers and inventors are the ones that have the capacity to fail, to be proved wrong, only to work harder to succeed.  The scary people are those who know it all, who can’t be told, who are unable to be open to new ideas.  Having had 25 years or more of this information superhighway, we now have an even scarier world, the world of artificial intelligence.  For teachers, we know we will have to find ways of ensuring that our students are not having computer generated papers.  We have programs to detect plagiarism, but it may take longer to detect ChatGPT. 

On this Friday morning, I am happy to know that I don’t have all the answers, that there is still so much to learn.  Towards the end of my mother’s life, she was looking at some object in amazement, and wondering how do people keep coming up with these new ideas? We are fortunate to live in a time of rapid developments, of amazing technology, but it is clear that ethical standards have to keep pace, and regulations need to be one step ahead. 

Have a wonderful weekend, Family! And please continue to share your new discoveries, or uncover old stories, we all grow when we learn.  

One Love!

Namaste.

2 comments

  1. This is such a positive and inspiring post about the importance of being open to learning and discovery. It’s truly a valuable lesson to always keep learning and expanding our knowledge and perspective. Thank you for sharing!
    founder of balance thy life https://balancethylife.com

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