The Know It All

Anyone that knows me and anyone that has read any single blog I have ever written knows that I fancy myself a bit of a know it all. It’s not something I wear as sash but more as a crown of frowns. A self-woven burden I have a hard time overcoming. You see, I love to spout my opinion to anyone that will listen and to about three to ten people who have no interest in hearing me. Sometimes I speak on issues I am familiar and knowledgeable in but most times, and most blogs, I am speaking in rhetorical terms.

I, like everyone else, can only give you my view of the world. While that’s helpful, and it offers insight, it isn’t necessarily Truth. Now, Truth itself is a tricky bugger. It exists but it exists in a very thin space with a lot of gray all around it. Perception is what makes things a little fuzzy. You can pronounce – The Sky Is ­Blue – and that is true…but it isn’t also because there is no ‘sky’, only atmosphere full of reflections and particulate, and beyond that are the deeps of space. Humans being humans we have a really bad habit of telling people they are wrong. About everything. We don’t want to live in that gray of perception, we want to exist in the narrow band of truth.

That narrow band is an awfully lonely place to live though.

Truth is important.

It is necessary as a guidepost for us so we can understand and appreciate social mores, expectations, and so we can measure things in the world around us.

Truth is needed.

But it’s as I said, a tricky bugger and people tend too often to use it as a club and not as a stick. One you can help someone up with and the other you ‘beat sense’ into them with.

Truth as a stick allows that none of us knows all things about all things and that we all need a little help understanding things better. It allows that no one is the master of everything. The other, Truth as club, posits you as Right and puts you in a position to mete out your judgment on everyone who is Wrong. You see that a lot on social media. If there’s a tragedy with any ounce of hyperbole – something tragedy pulls out of us naturally – then someone will make sure to call out everyone who uses those terms. Worst shooting? HOW DARE YOU! Such and such was far worse. And while the Truth of the matter is that that may well be true, all you have done is divert attention away from a tragedy to show how well you know history and how smart you are…at the expense of the mourning of others. Seems kinda petty, no? It’s hard to quantify the Worst of anything. Yes, numbers are a Truth, but impact, resonance, and history all play a part in molding the gray areas around that Truth. We need to know Truth though, and when to wield it. We need to use it as a tool to illustrate and educate, not to correct and shame. We are not one another’s parents. We all misspeak. All of us. We all exaggerate. All of us. And we all can learn a lot more about history, social and political.

Tragedy, while it can bring out the best in us, can too often bring out the worst more easily.

Too often we take to social networking after great tragedy to give our insight, thoughts, prayers, advice, and too many times to add ourselves into the storyline in some way. It’s natural to want to talk after a tragedy, whether it’s yours or not. You want to vent, you want to rant, you want to mourn, and all of it is valid. We just need to learn how to do it. We need to learn how to let others mourn in their way. We need to stop correcting everything and everyone and just let one another do our things. Let’s let one another make mistakes, and misspeak, and use hyperbole. We can educate but we can also wait until there’s an appropriate time. We can’t say – don’t push your pet’s nose in their poo and then do it to a person. Unless someone is using a MisTruth as a means to lie or harm then let them be for a minute, and if they are downright lying, call them on it. But make sure it’s a lie and not just a mistake.

You don’t need to always be right.

You just don’t.

Just like you don’t have to always comment on something someone says.

You can’t ‘beat sense’ into people. It doesn’t work. We live in a world that feels like it does. That we’ve become too lax and darn it, people need to see the Truth. Only, like I said, the Truth is tricky. People need to come to sense on their own. They can be lead there, they can be taught, and they can be inspired, but they need to accept it themselves because ‘sense’ is rarely as common as we like to think. So badgering someone, arguing with them, fighting with them to get their point across does nothing but separate the two sides even more. There may not always be middle ground but we don’t have to make the chasm worse than it is needlessly. All we are doing is trying desperately to be right. That’s all. It’s about ego. It’s about anger. It’s about beating sense into someone. Wanna sway someone? Help them to understand your side. Tell them why you believe what you do. Teach them YOUR Truth. Maybe, just maybe that chasm will shrink and you’ll open the person’s eyes to something they had not allowed themselves to see before.

Teach me about what the worst shooting was, why it was the worst, and what it means – don’t try to make me look stupid and work to lessen the pain of people who believe and feel what they are going through is the worst.

Truth, like faith, is a think we must come to on our own and accept into our hearts on our own. If we choose to be faithless, if we choose to be ‘ignorant’ of what we think of as simple truths – water is wet, we need air to breathe, the earth is round, and so on – then that is our choice and we must be allowed to embrace that. We don’t have to embrace that Truth with others, but we should allow them to follow their own path. And yeah, it can be dangerous, and it can be scary, but we cannot force others to believe what we believe. As soon as we do that we have planted seeds that will create a monster.

And yeah, we’re all know it alls. We all think we’re right. And we all head to social media to make sure everyone knows how right we are. Like me. Like this. But for me, writing all of this doesn’t make ME right, it’s just my way of reaching out to the world with how I see things. I am wrong. A LOT. But I am willing to learn. I am not willing to get into an argument, or debate, because they quickly devolve into anger. But I am willing to try to open my eyes wider to the world around me. I can’t say I will be successful, but I am willing to try. And I will be wrong, a lot, but all I ask is that the people that care about me understand that I can always learn differently, if people are patient enough to teach me.

Ah yes, patience, something we just don’t put much faith in these does.

Curious, no?

…c…

Author: Chris Ringler

Writer, blogger, reviewer, artist, arts and cultural events coordinator, and semi-professional weirdo. Author of a heap of books from horror to fairy tale to kid's.

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