Making sense of the world is a phrase we use with babies and children as they begin to grow. As toddlers, when they begin to crawl or go to preschool for the first time and must share the toys with other children.
While in grammar school and learning math, science, history. As teenagers, trying to figure out their identity and how to deal with their insecurities. As graduates of college, navigating the harsh realities of finding their first full time job.
But what about adults? You never hear anyone say that they too are trying to make sense of the world. As an adult, we know all about the world. In fact, no matter how secure or insecure we are we never think that we need to make sense of the world.
Yet if we really pay attention, our immediate world around us, continues to change. New people enter our lives. Our children, now more grown, present us with new challenges as their need for self-expression expands. The situations we find ourselves in, at work, at home, or within our volunteer organizations all continue to evolve. Technology continues to change and invade our space.
Making sense of OUR world is even more important as we age. Yet we don’t realize it. We are the frogs in water where the temperature slowly is raised until it boils and as a frog we never knew it was coming.
Making sense of our world requires us to pay more attention. To not be quite so sure that we always know what to do or how to think about what we feel or see. Ironically, those that have more inner confidence tend to question more and be more unsure while they continue to collect and process as much new information while they try to make sense of the small world they live in each day.
Quick responses and actions to new situations within our world, at times, could be a very big weakness. Always clinging to the phrase “I know” is a signal of immaturity. Thinking we always know is very dangerous and will lead to more dead ends than we can imagine.
Becoming more aware of the need to consciously and regularly make sense of the world is a first step to becoming more present and effective in our daily lives. Internalizing the need to constantly keep checking is a habit worth forming.
If only we would be willing to try.