What do we know? What do we think that we know for sure when standing at the crossroads of certainty and new things to get familiar with?
I know that everybody felt that they were good at something at least once. Everybody must have felt at some point that they’ve reached an advanced level of expertise and now sit there on the top of the hill with that savour taste of OWNING that subject. I don’t know about you, but I was like that. I still am sometimes. Silly me, I thought that there was that red line or some sort of a limit or a finish line, you name it. This sense robbed me of the experience of going beyond the limits of what I thought I knew, exploring new verges, developing even more. Instead of that I turned into that unpleasant snobbish “know-it-all” person with no more curiosity left towards the world.
The truth is… no matter how advanced I think I am, in reality, I’m not even close to being able to call myself “advanced”. Some people learn for ages by getting one speciality, higher education, travelling around the world, learning new languages acquiring that taste of “knowing-it-all” only to discover that they know nothing or that they still have to go miles towards that unseen horizon of knowledge they see as “satisfactory”.
In life we go hand in hand with our system of believes and sometimes unshakable opinions that solidly replace curiosity we once had.
I have this friend who presents himself as a to-go-to guy when it comes to yoga. And I admire that about him because of the indisputable amount of knowledge he has on the subject. All is great. But there is that one thing that bothered me and I couldn’t pinpoint for years. When you say something new that you’ve learned about yoga to him, somehow he becomes very defensive feeling threatened with that facial expression as if you were about to take away the last piece of bread from him. And when he actually realises that he didn’t know that piece of information which you’ve just shared, he becomes like a blowfish all cool and adamant claiming to know it all or call what you know “silly”.
At first I was taking that personally. But when same thing happened a few times to me and when I on the other hand felt threatened like I knew nothing, I realised something.
There will always be something to learn and to expand my knowledge. There will always be people more advanced in the same subject and THAT’S OK. It doesn’t kill you if you know less.
Every person we meet knows something we don’t and vice versa.
Other friend of mine is a dietician. He is a strong believer in certain things that I just don’t see fit or applicable in my life. And he would call and write with all the information about his favourite subject. And then I asked, why does he care so much that I know all this? And the answer was: because he cares about me.
There aren’t that many people in the world who truly and genuinely care about us and who strive to share their knowledge with us because they believe that it will improve our life. This is why it is so valuable for me now once I realised what was behind his endless tips and suggestions. So I thanked him and said that I would consider using some of his knowledge to change my life for the better.
It is incredibly simple to replace that genuine curiosity we all once had when we were little. It is easy to replace it with opinions and strong unshakable beliefs that hold us back.
What I’m striving to do is to learn to let go of as many of those solid opinions and to be curious about life… because no matter how long we are here for – life is worth exploring…..
By Lesya Li
Photo by Nadia Stepp