Wednesday, October 8, 2008

To Know or Not To Know

Very similar to Hamlet’s $64,000 question, no? So I’m copping to it right now. There are some things I don’t want to know. No, that’s not right. Not don’t want to know, but don’t care whether I know or not.

Take plumbing. There are wizards who do plumbing in our homes. They know how sinks, toilets, disposals, dishwashers, washing machines, showers work. Bless them, I’m thrilled that there are people who know these things, but do I want to know them? Nope, not really, unless or until the day comes when the shower doesn’t turn on or the toilet won’t flush or I can’t wash my clothes when I want to wash them. Then, I’m fascinated, but otherwise not.

I used to feel terribly guilty about this. Information is power, right? Anything can be fascinating so I should want to know everything. Well, at 50, dear heart, I don’t want to know everything. What I want is to know deeply what I know and to let others have their own expertise.

A friend of mine held my hand and coached me through figuring out how to make live Amazon Affiliates links recently. This added another layer to my experience of knowledge. In that case, I didn’t feel like learning how to do it, I wanted just to magically know how. That particular byte of information was one I needed to know. But, truth to tell, I don’t know how Amazon’s Affiliate program works, and it doesn’t really matter whether I do or not.

Now lest you are worried that I don’t know enough, believe me when I tell you that I know tons of information that I’ll never use, and I’m fascinated by all things related to the human spirit which encompasses a great many things. Still, asking me about your plumbing probably isn’t wise. On the other hand, I can help you decide whether or not to take a loved one off life support quite easily.

So here’s what I’ve learned about knowing and not knowing. It isn’t mine to know everything. Just not mine to do. Plain. Simple. That’s it. What’s mine to know is about things of the human spirit. What’s also mine to know is that when I don’t know something, someone somewhere not only knows that thing I need, but loves knowing it.

If I am an expert in my field, am I not blessed by engaging and using the expertise of others in their fields? Absolutely. It makes my plumbing run smoothly.

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