Friday, October 21, 2016

Dr. Faulkner: Know it All?

A recent newspaper article brought to my attention a quote from legendary basketball coach John Wooden.  “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”

Two instances from my personal life resonate with this quote.  First as a teenager, I thought my parents were dumb as posts.  They weren’t hip, cool, or in touch.  I remember a high school speech I prepared that berated the older generation for being so ignorant of the current situation.   Not too many years following, I was amazed at how much my parents had learned and what great wisdom they had developed.

The second was something someone told me when I embarked on the journey to earn a doctorate.  I’ve long since forgotten who said it but the insight stayed with me.  They said, “Getting an advanced degree is choosing to remain ignorant about many subjects so you can learn a whole lot about one subject.”

Believing that we already know it all can cause us to miss out on so many new things.  Entrenched ideas sometimes cause us to dig in our heels and refuse to even try innovative developments in our work and home life.  And of course ego can cause us to be unwilling to admit that we might be unknowledgeable or even wrong.  (Remember what difficulty Fonzie had just saying the word.)

It is somewhat humbling to find out we don’t know it all but it is also liberating to anticipate each day as an opportunity to learn something new.  Now that you know it all, what more can you learn?

-Jerry Faulkner

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