It feels good when we know something. How to fix drywall or change a tire. When we understand how to play chess or can excel at winning a video game. Understanding what autism is and how it affects a child as they grow up. Having knowledge of past presidential elections that then allow you to converse intelligently about the differences you see in today’s nominating process.
All of us go to school for many years to gain knowledge. After that we use the Internet to learn new things in depth. What we find that as we learn more, we are able to do more which then makes some things easier for us to do.
So how can knowledge be dangerous? The obvious possibility is when it gives us too much advantage over another person. When the person with knowledge exploits the less knowledgeable person for their benefit.
Less thought of but much more dangerous for each of us is when we believe our knowledge is complete. When it leads us to say “I know” and we stop listening. Or when we mistakenly think that because we know we have already done something when in reality we have not.
Many times I have read self-help books to help me get better at this or that. I thought, after reading the books, that they did help and I changed. It took a long time for me to realize that none of my behaviors changed after reading the books and my life still stood where it was before I began to read them.
You see, knowledge by itself has little value. It is only when you apply that knowledge in your daily life and see the outcomes can you begin to see what you really know and have learned. Only then will you find the gaps that still exist in your knowledge. You then begin to understand why it never is a good thing to say in a demanding way that “I know” and to stop listening.
For our knowledge is never complete. There is always something new to learn because the context of the situation we are tying to apply our knowledge to always changes.
You need to continue to learn new things to grow as a person. Just don’t make the mistake of stopping before you try what you have learned in a small part of your daily life to be able to see what more you need to learn to go even further.