Saturday, 30 January 2016

Knowledge


K is for Knowledge

I'm sitting here at the kitchen table in the quietness of the morning. My husband and children are still asleep. It's just me and the dog. I thought I'd been enjoying the serenity BUT the clunking of the ceiling fan and the buzz of the refrigerator are ruining things. They're actually getting on my nerves, like a dripping tap, interrupting my train of thought. I wished I had the knowledge to be able to fix them but I don’t so I'll put up with the annoyance until I call in the experts. 

Have you ever said, 'If I'd known that, I wouldn't.... or I would've....'?

Or have you ever said, 'To my knowledge....'

What do these quotes mean? 

I like this diagram. Starting at the second level; you can have information but unless it has meaning to you, it won't be helpful. For example, you may have information on how to change a car tyre. Maybe a printout off the internet or you've read somewhere what to do and have those steps stored away in your brain. 
If you actually have changed the tyre, the information has become knowledge (the third level) as you have experience. You'll be able to help others and explain any tricks or tips you've learned through you experience. You may even have the highest level - some wisdom. For example you may have done something silly while changing the tyre, and to stop others from having your misfortune, you tell them

 
Two days ago we were rear ended at an intersection. Both Joe and I hadn’t been in a car accident before so neither of us knew exactly what we needed to do. A brochure had been dropped in our mailbox a few weeks before on what to do in a car accident and I had briefly skimmed it then thrown it in the bin. From this brochure I had some information stored away in my brain. The other driver was evasive with some of his information and said he didn’t have insurance, and we didn’t know what to do about that. That information wasn't on the brochure! After telling my friends on Facebook those who had been in car accidents were able to tell us that we had done the right thing with what we had written down, and what we could do next time. They had the knowledge that we didn’t have. 

Have you ever thought you had the knowledge to do something, but half way through have realised you didn't?

I must admit that when I started writing two years ago, I thought I knew how to write. I had taught primary children to write basic stories for 25 years, so of course I knew how to write a children's novel. It came as a shock when I found out that yes I had some skills but I needed to do a lot of learning about structure, characters, plot etc. to be able to write a satisfactory publishable story. A little bit of knowledge wasn't enough to do an excellent job. So what did I do? I wanted to succeed at my writing, so I enrolled in some writing courses and joined writing groups to learn and to be around people who had lots of knowledge. Many had wisdom as well.
We are always seeking knowledge when it applies to what we need, or we may gain knowledge because of an interest. I enjoy learning about animals, so I‘ve been watching documentaries on purpose. I am writing a children's book set in ancient Rome, so I am reading and watching videos on Rome.

What are you seeking knowledge about?

 and 

What do you have knowledge about? 

My children have complex medical issues and we go to the hospital where there are experts in the field. We don't take them to the GP who is generalised in her field. When the specialists don't appear to have the knowledge it creates fear in us.
 
Have you ever been in the situation where you feel as if you have more knowledge than the experts? 

This was the situation we found ourselves in last Tuesday when we were discussing eye muscle surgery with the eye surgeon.  We hoped that his indecisiveness was really wisdom and experience coming into play, not just a regurgitation of information he knew. Due to our worry we sought further expertise, our plastic surgeon, who talked to the eye clinic. It was confirmed to us that everything was under control and that the head Professor was taking over the case. We felt better knowing that the expert was involved. 



I have always said, 'knowledge is power'. This is usually said in relation to diagnoses. When Melissa was diagnosed at birth with Crouzon syndrome, I fell in a heap and spiraled into post-natal depression. When Jessica was diagnosed at four weeks with Down syndrome, again I fell in a heap and spiraled into post-natal depression. 

Both times I saw everything as being bad. It took a while to grieve the loss of normality, but I eventually dealt with the information I was given. As this information - the 'labels' attached to my children - turned into knowledge, my attitude changed. This label told me what may or may not happen, it gave me strategies to help the child, and it gave me reasons for why things were happening. With more knowledge and experience, which came with time and going through things, I've been able to help others, so that their journeys are hopefully easier than mine was.

That is why we have support groups in our society. 

I would like to leave you with this final quote by Sylvester Stallone to ponder:

 

 What knowledge can you pass on to someone who needs it?