Sunday, April 25, 2010

Understanding -- Are We There Yet?

For “U,” I'm listening to Undercover, Balance of Power. Ten points (of bragging rights) to anyone who remembers Undercover. (Featuring Ojo Taylor, Gym Nicholson, Sim Wilson, and Gary Dean Olson)

For “U,” I'd like to share some thoughts on Understanding. When I was 18, I understood Life, the Universe, and Everything. Now, at (barely) 36, I still understand plenty, but not nearly as much. Through my 20's I often thought that I knew more than the people around me. To be fair, my studious nature didn't hurt; I could quote more than many of those I was conversing with. Having more answers isn't conducive to humility!

Then, I met someone I knew from high school – not a friend, but we shared some classes. The crazy thing was, it was ten years later, and we were in BC, 3000 kms from the school we shared. It so happened that we had mutually-satisfying needs: he needed a roommate, and I needed a place. The co-habitation only lasted a few months, but it had a more profound affect than the years previous. He had a different understanding of Life, the Universe and Everything, because he had been studying from a completely different point of view.

I hadn't necessarily been asking the wrong questions, but I had been asking from the wrong assumptions. At that time, I learned that my understanding had come from certain paradigm, and began the mind-blowing process of seeing the world from a foreign understanding. Thanks Chad, I haven't been the same since!

Seven years ago (when I was 29) was the last time I got a violent snap-back in my understanding. I had learned so much, that I felt I'd surpassed the rest of my species (no shit; I really was that cocky!). Then I heard a song that echoed my “superior” understanding; a song that I'd heard many times, but the concepts hadn't registered. It occurred to me, rather violently, “Oh shit, these guys were in on these ideas the whole time...” Since then, whatever I've learned, through study or experience, I just assume that others have understood it before. I've given others more credit for their cleverness, and I've understood that I'm not the only one who can 'clue-in' to what's accepted as fact by the more mature.


  1. I think it's great that no matter how old we are we never stop learning :)

  2. I understand what you're getting at,
    I too thought I knew it all when I got married...How wrong I was, it was a different ball game altogether then when the children came along I knew even less. I have learnt though that we all make mistakes, some small others bigger , I thought I knew what I was doing 3 yrs ago but it was the biggest mistake ofmy life, but I have learnt from it and understand why I made the mistake.

    Enjoy your Sunday.

  3. When we think we know everything, we really know nothing.

  4. Profound... now I realize I know nothing... but a lot.

  5. Undercover! I remember that I have some cassettes and CD's by them, but I can't remember the music. I may have to get one of my CD's out and listen tomorrow.

    Know what you mean. I was pretty smart when I was in college. Now I now some stuff, but these college kids today run circles around my head and I keep forgetting the stuff I used to know. It must not have been that important.

    May 3rd A to Z Challenge Reflections Mega Post

  6. I'm addicted to learning. It makes me feel alive.
    Love this post. It made me think.