“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”
No one grows up evenly.
We don’t even think and learn evenly.
<my 2011 post: http://brucemctague.com/intellect-ignorance-the-learning-boundaries>
Here is the truth.
Ignorance is boundless.
Knowledge is limited <only in terms of time>.
And learning is never symmetrical.
If you believe how you think, what you think … and what you know <and what you think you know> is the foundational idea of Life <and growing up> then you would have to believe by expanding the circle of knowledge you are simultaneously expanding the boundaries of ignorance.
In other words, the more things you learn, the more things you become aware you don’t know.
Now that, my friends, is an awesomely simple concept.
The whole idea of ignorance always outpacing knowledge and learning is something I believe we should think about more often.
Because <1> … we make comparisons or judgments based on linear standards.
This is relevant to growing up, test scores and even performance reviews.
“If you started here you should be here by this time.”
Because <2> … we feel a constant failure to learn everything <or more>.
Therefore we constantly get discouraged because by remaining in the ‘ignorance zone,’ despite having invested energy in knowledge gathering to actually get out of that zone, one can theoretically never feel a satisfaction of ‘something completed’.
Because <part3> …. Ignorance attacks you in a 360degree fashion.
This only matters because we attack ignorance on a focused limited degree approach.
I will illustrate by showing you this diagram <which I did not do> where the circle of knowledge has inconsistent edges.
When I saw this diagram I thought it perfectly reflected:
- how people expand their learning knowledge <outside a school construct as well as inside a school construct>
- my own personal challenge when it comes to increasing knowledge and ignorance
- why people <in general> grow up unevenly
Suffice it to say … even as we expand ourselves and get better … the choices we make … well … make us grow unevenly.
And that can not only make us feel uncomfortable but it can also make the people around us feel uncomfortable.
“Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.”
All this unevenness is simply growth … and growing up.
Each spike in learning and knowledge is the another initial breakthrough in the attack on ignorance.
Each spike inevitably leads to a curiosity driven rounding out of fuller understanding and knowledge.
Using myself as an example … beyond some ’rounding out’ I would imagine there is an inevitable new ‘spike’ somewhere else … I assume I had read or heard something that piqued my curiosity in another direction.
Therefore, and I believe this is the neatest thought, this is a perpetual process with spikes and rounding out but in the end the circle just keeps getting bigger and bigger <and bigger is better>.
Unfortunately … this is also a reflection of growing up.
Growing up is uneven.
You become more expert and informed on certain topics at the expense of others … some experiences at the expense of others.
The well rounded circle – that might have characterized the end of the classic education system and the classically defined ‘well rounded person’ – is inevitably being replaced with the profile of an expert <or increased passion on a topic> in some particular domain.
This inevitably means creating a person who will never end up with a perfect circle … but rather an ellipse, at best, or some wacky trapezoid <or some random shape with edges … not rounded curves>. And some people will actually be a straight relatively thin rectangle.
My main point?
There is no such thing as a well rounded person. You may aspire to be well rounded but even at your best … you are some shape other than a circle type person.
I like this thought.
I like that we all grow up unevenly and we learn unevenly,
It implies society & culture is like a jig saw puzzle up to us humans o figure out how to fit together.
But his also creates some problems for us wacky ‘comfortable with a plan’ group of citizens.
It focuses us on ‘we need to build this type of expertise’ silos of people. And yet people, in general, are maximize in a more random ‘stimulate and go in whatever direction you want to go way.
“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”
We know what we want.
We want ourselves, anyone in fact, to simply be a well rounded individual maximizing their talents.
We don’t really understand how to attain it <because there is a randomness to the plan>.
While “we are made up of layers, cells, constellations” is a little too poetically nebulous for me … I do like ‘we grow up unevenly.’
And I do believe it makes us a little uncomfortable … this unevenness.
And we try and try <and try again> to even it out as much as we can.
Maybe we should be investing the same energy to encourage passionate energetic unevenness instead.
And then I would have to assume we would be smart enough to then figure out how to put all the uneven jig saw pieces together and create a better happier world <with happier people as individuals>.
Just a thought.
But I am an uneven guy.