We all use the phrase “I know” hundreds of times. It pleases the ego when said. Stating this gets us off of the hook to listen or learn more. We can simply move on in our day without further interruption.
To know is defined on the web as “be aware of through observation, inquiry or information”. Certainly our phones feed us information constantly. The world forces information on us without us asking.
Knowledge is defined a bit differently. The web states – ” facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject. Awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation”.
Embedded in the definition of knowledge is a connection between information and who we are. Knowledge is the sum of “stuff” acquired through experience or education. It is awareness or familiarity gained by experience. There is a sense of action and participation with information that doesn’t exist with knowing.
To know is very misleading. We can be aware of facts and information. But it doesn’t mean we have figured out how they fit into our lives. To know doesn’t infer experience or education. It simply stops at awareness. There is no immersion when simply declaring you know something.
We easily confuse information with knowledge for many reasons. First, we never looked up the definitions to see the difference between them. Without definitions, I too used to think that to know was to have knowledge. But as you see they are very different.
Knowing is so much simpler than acquiring knowledge. Knowledge takes time and work. We are never patient enough to live our lives intentionally through new experiences so that we can learn from them. And too scared to take the information of what we now know and use it in our lives so that we become more knowledgeable & skilled.