Talking with friends today started me thinking about “absolutes.” You know, things that you say or believe without doubt. As I was reminded, even if you say, “There are no absolutes.” you have just made an absolute statement!
Why do we believe what we believe? Is it because we are told to believe it? I don’t think so.
I’m reading Michael Polanyi’s “Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy.” This book isn’t for the faint hearted! It is really, really deep but gives one much to chew on.
The author goes into knowledge – just what it is and how we come to “know” something. In our modern world, we often have to have proof. But in reality, proof is not always the way we “know” something.
Ever had anyone show you how to do something that they couldn’t teach you any other way? I remember when my grandmother taught me how to crochet. As much as I looked at the stitches in the books on how to learn to crochet, I could never do it until I was shown. She was my crochet mentor.
I’ve perfected this knowledge somewhat over the years just by doing the act of crochet over and over again. I even taught my son! And while he is 23 and would never admit to knowing this skill, it is something that is tucked in that brain of his; something that he came to know by being shown.
I like to go to the mall to people watch. In fact I think I like that as much as I do shopping. People are fascinating! And you learn so much just by taking it all in – conversations; body language; environment, etc.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that as we grow, it is important to question why we believe what we believe. I’m afraid if we never do that we shall fail to grow! We have probably all known people who wouldn’t budge from a position for years. If you ask them why they believe like they do, they often cannot say. And while it is good to have such personal knowledge, I think we should always be willing to honor others and hear another perspective.
And now I return to my reading…so much to think about!