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Knowledge is the Enemy of Learning

I hope that you are smiling at yet another strange title from me.


It would seem that knowledge is the foundation and basis for learning. It would seem that he who has the MOST knowledge learns the most. Could it be that the ABSENCE of knowledge is the friend of learning, and that your current knowledge hinders the learning process?


I hope you are a bit perplexed and confused, because confusion is a state of learning as well! Do I have your attention and interest? Perplexed, confused, and lacking knowledge; could these conditions ENHANCE AND ACCELERATE learning?


Absolutely! When I DON’T KNOW something, then I look for answers and open minded. When I admit that I lack knowledge, I seek it. If I am confused, I need a solution, perhaps a new and better way. But when I already KNOW, I have NO NEED to learn.


The soil of a curious mind is fallow and ready to receive new seeds. But the “I KNOW” state of mind is hardened by audacious arrogance and pride. Self-satisfied people have no hunger to learn anything new. In their all-knowing world, they are content to pass judgment on all who differ from their great wisdom and expertise. They would never dare admit that they lack an answer or the knowledge to solve all their problems. They would be aghast and ashamed to ever admit a mistake or personal ignorance.


So, what is the point of this sermonette? It is an invitation to set aside what you KNOW and find the world and all about you to be interesting. Be intrigued and curious about ideas and solutions that differ from your own. Be especially inquisitive of concepts that push some emotional button and feel a bit scary.


Learning is growing. Growing is changing. Changing is uncomfortable and sometimes threatening. Dare you enter this exciting world that you don’t yet know? Are you willing to be uncomfortable, look confused, and be without all the answers? Is it OK to be uncertain and open to new possibilities that are currently unfamiliar? Will you consider WHAT IF?


If so, a new world of learning and personal growth will appear and surround you in every experience and conversation. I challenge you to set aside what YOU KNOW, and find life, other people, and their thoughts and ideas INTERESTING. You just might learn something!

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