Knowledge puffs up, while love builds up. I have spent the majority of my life “getting an education”. I have every degree you can possibly obtain, and the only thing I have learned is that I still have a lot to learn. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are, or how many degrees you have, the reality is that no one knows everything.
I was sitting in a meeting on Friday and found myself reflecting on what was being discussed. I already knew everything that was being shared in the meeting, but I never found myself disengaged with what was being discussed. I actually took pause to this and did some self reflection. I found that I have conditioned myself to keep learning. It didn’t matter if I knew the material already, I was listening as if it was the first time I was hearing it.
I am a firm believer in lifelong learning. Even if I already know something, I want to know more. I want to engage in understanding. I don’t want knowledge for knowledge’s sake, but rather, I want to understand and apply my knowledge. I feel many people today walk around thinking they know everything there is to know about their profession, their political ideologies, their relationships, and even themselves. There is a major problem with this. Simply, no one will ever know everything. The moment we start to think we know everything is the moment we don’t know anything.
What if we restructured our thinking with the idea of learning to understanding? What if we decided to approach everything we do with the mindset of persistent understanding? Instead of disengaging in a meeting where the topic is something you might “already know”, re-engage in the conversation with a desire to learn more. Share your ideas and your thinking. Engage in conversations that will stretch your thinking and force you to learn more. Just remember, it’s not about knowing everything, it’s about understanding.
You might be thinking, “That’s great and all, but where does love come into this?”. Knowledge puffs up, while love builds up. If we are not careful, knowledge has the ability to poison our mind. It has the ability to make us think we are superior in our ways and our thinking, and that we have nothing more to learn. This is why it is said, “Pride comes before the fall.” Knowledge tends to take our chest, puff it out, which causes us to look down on those with whom we are engaging. Knowledge tends to make us think that we always need to have something to say, or that what we have to say is right all of the time. Love? Love does the very opposite.
Love is the four letter word that people don’t like talking about because it makes us uncomfortable. Personally, I don’t think we talk about it enough, and because of that, we have a puffed up society . You see, love does not walk around looking down on others. Love doesn’t force it’s ideologies and opinions on others. Rather, love seeks common ground and understanding. Love creates an open dialogue with the focus on others rather than ourselves. Love pushes us to hear and see everything as if it was the first time we were hearing it, watching it, going through it. Love is about learning for the benefit of others. When we seek understanding rather than just knowledge, we create an environment that builds each other up.
Case and point: When I sit in a meeting, where the information is something I already “know”, and choose to disengage in the conversation, my actions and attitude show the person presenting that they are beneath me. I might tend to look down on them because of my “knowledge” of the material. However, if I sit in the same meeting with a longing to understand, even if I already “know” the information, my actions and attitude show the presenter that they are important, and that I want to understand and respect them. And you never know, I might actually learn something new.
I don’t know everything, and I never want to think that I do. I want to keep learning to understand. It keeps everything fresh and new, and it keeps me from thinking I have nothing new to learn. Humility is key to growing a forever learning mindset.
- Knowledge puffs up. It doesn’t matter how much you know, you can always be learning something new.
- There is a big difference between knowing something and understanding something. Seek understanding and not just knowledge.
- Look at every situation as an opportunity to learn and grow. It doesn’t matter if you already “know” something, seek to gain more understanding.
- Be okay with not knowing everything.
- Grow. Grow your heart, your mind, and your understanding. NEVER stop growing.
As always, stay humble and serve well.