It has been said that wisdom does not necessarily always come with age simply because acquiring knowledge without applying it to our lives and letting what we learn change us means we stay the same … filled with lots of knowledge and trivia that is not translated into our making wiser choices because of wisdom developed.
In a world where many are freed to learn as much as we want because of the world wide web and the availability of an incredible abundance of information “out there,” it is easy for us to believe we are wiser, instead of just smarter. Just smarter because of the accumulation of data and knowledge we now have stored in our minds or have access to even though what we learn is not often translated into new action to generate new results… in other words we often do not connect all the dots and therefore the wisdom is not revealed.
Though we all have the potential to gather vast amounts of data and knowledge, those the most liable to misunderstand data and knowledge are not power in themselves and often use them unwisely are those who feel less than adequate … those who believe they must prove their “value” by their vast collection of data and knowledge along with the collecting of things and people.
It is the principle many education organizations unwittingly pass onto their students. This is demonstrated by the constant barrage of stories about well-educated people who use their vast collection of data and knowledge to manipulate others in their quest to gain what they desire, which is seldom wisdom.
Why? Because wisdom reflects the understanding that we are all in this life, sharing this planet and its resources together.
Like most people, I did not understand this for the longest time either. As a child, I rejected the school system because I found the experience filled with cruelty and hypocrisy, especially since I went to a Catholic School where the primary thing I remember is not the text book learning but the violence inflicted upon me for not being a model of the perfect student.
It was only on my later journey of collecting lots of data and knowledge by attending university in my mid-to-late thirties with the intent to become a psychologist and then later by my following self-directed studies did I discover things like personality types; first described by Carl Jung and later revisited and simplified by the Myers-Briggs mother daughter team who created the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and then made even more user friendly for the average person by Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger. All of a sudden, I understood why my teachers and I often clashed in the classrooms … I was not a bad person or girl … I was an INTP … a very small percentage of the population who thrives, not on listening to teachers talk all day, which bored me silly because my communication and learning skill strengths are foremost experiential … reading, writing and doing and my weakest is being overloaded by the verbosity of “E’s” who dominate our world, who erroneously, by the way judge anyone not like them as less smart … even stupid.
Almost smothering myself with the wealth of data and knowledge, a new picture of the girl I had become convinced I was and the girl I really was began to reveal the falsities I had become convinced were realities.
As light bulbs flashed and flashed with every new step, with the next accumulation of the latest and greatest knowledge, I, like many people, began to believe the maxim “Knowledge is Power.”
But it isn’t. Knowledge is just a package of data put together in a comprehensive manner to make sense … until the next batch of knowledge comes along to trump the last bit of knowledge … and so the power struggle goes on and on and on … as it has since the beginning of humanity.
For years, I too stored up reams of data, knowledge and quotes falsely believing they alone provided the answer. Always adding the latest scientific discoveries meant more and more filing drawers and bookshelves filled to the point that knowing where to start to unravel it all seemed overwhelming.
Just as it must seem to children and youth these days.
The problem is the people with the most wealth of data and knowledge have become convinced that the only way to make the world a better place is to make everyone else like them. Which is why many of the solutions they present to deal with many of our world’s challenges are too complex or too competitive.
For example, during the process of securing a school’s students and staff to be the “Legacy” performers for the inaugural Connecting the Dots … with The RESPECT PRINCIPLE SCHOOL PACKAGE, I visited the Blue Water District School Board’s website where I found their Character Development charter comprised of the values desired are respect, honesty, responsibility, trust, teamwork, self-discipline, commitment, caring, integrity and dependability. The similar charter I found in many Ontario school halls on posters, from Windsor to Sault Ste. Marie to Kingston, when I visited as a school performer. All of them reminded me of the mission, vision and values I saw on corporate and business walls over several years.
Whatever the words and titles, all have the same intent … to create a more harmonious environment, but alas, the other commonality is they are written by people with vast stores of data and knowledge, who are so removed from the daily existence of the world’s population and who have unfortunately, even when with the best intentions are contributing to making people feel they must know as much as they do in order for them to feel valuable and successful; I used to also.
I realized this when I wrote my first few versions of Connecting the Dots … with The RESPECT PRINCIPLE. The first was too simple, the second too complex, so I began to think about the world with all of its people, many of whom cannot read or write, have never been to school, yet also those in the highest level of learning institutions and I rewrote the book in its third version. I thought about the little ones in playgrounds, in elementary and second schools, the dropouts, and all the people around the world who desperately want to learn and live better lives.
Keeping this vast audience in mind, I am grateful that the reams of data and knowledge coalesced and revealed a piece of wisdom to share. Today I often laugh and think of phrases like KISS Keep it Simple Smarty (I prefer Smarty over Stupid since putdowns are easy and reflective of a low RESPECT LEVEL) and the scientific premise of OCCAM”S RAZOR that the simplest is most often the truest and I am writing this to hopefully make you laugh because of your recognition of the simple truth and its wisdom.
Connecting the Dots … with The RESPECT PRINCIPLE simply means we shift our long-held principle, The Disrespect Philosophy, that respect is something a child has to earn … to The RESPECT PRINCIPLE … the wisdom that recognizes no child should have to meet anyone’s or any groups’ standards or qualification to be valued … treated RESPECTFULLY for just being a life.
Connecting the Dots … with The RESPECT PRINCIPLE by its simplicity makes the idea feasible to almost every person, regardless of their IQ.
The RESPECT SCALE shows the results and consequences of different levels of Respect. On the bottom are dictators, serial killers and on or near the top are Jesus Christ, Ghandi, Martin Luther King and everyone else is somewhere in between.
Teach a child they are valuable and they will think and act with honesty, responsibility, trust, teamwork, self-discipline, commitment, caring, integrity, dependability and a lot more, including love.
Free the children from the weight of first having to become filled and/or confused with reams of data and knowledge before they can have wisdom. Free them to learn who they are first by empowering them with one unified principle, not shaped by religion, politics, economics, social status or any such qualifier and our children will thrive as individuals … and as a global nation that humanity has not yet attained.
Connecting the Dots … with The RESPECT PRINCIPLE is the intellectual, scientific and economic version because it is practical, logical and compassionate.
If you desire a Christian version, God and Jesus made it simple too … treat others as you would have them treat you.
Let us give our children a new legacy to build upon … the legacy of valuing all life and then empowering them to develop the means to reflect the new and unified philosophy beneficial to all life.
September 20, 2013
All Rights Reserved by DARK HORSES PRODUCTIONS/KAITLIN A. TREPANIER, Connecting the Dots … with The RESPECT PRINCIPLE Developer, Author, Speaker, Playwright, Altruistic Entrepreneur, and Human Rights Activist … because every child should know, by their own experience, they are valued … RESPECTED