The more I observe life, the more I keep revisiting what I thought I knew once to be 100% true. I realize that life is a process of constant growth where we learn and unlearn what we have been taught throughout life. There was a time not too long ago where youthful pretension made me think I knew it all. Hot damn if I don’t look back and laugh at my old self. I was but a mustard tree who just knew I had the intellect of an oak tree. Which leads me to this recognition; what I know today might be discredited by my future self.
I am certain that I’m not the only one who has walked this path from hubris to humility. Which leads me to yet another contemplation, there is no such thing as fact when it comes to the things we know. All facts are synthesized after all through a subjective prism. We only confer the title of fact on those things which feed into our biases. Today’s wisdom might very well be tomorrow’s foolishness. Even in the realm of science, every theory and “law” comes with a level of uncertainty and a margin of error.
What I’m getting at is this: we don’t know it all. If we just have a bit of humility maybe the conflicts that are licking the world could get lessened. Forget global warming, it’s our egos and our need to need to conquer others with our supposed certainty and cock-sureness that is blazing this planet into a maelstrom. This is why some religious people cast the most wicked of stones at those who don’t believe like them. Instead of living the examples set out in holy books and passed down by prophets, too many would rather impose their ideology through one part hypocrisy and equal part piety. Not one to be outdone, those who don’t believe and ironically joined a religion called atheism are intent on being just as zealous as the most religious fanatic.
At the core, it’s evident that we mere humans just want to be God. Everyone is trying to foist their beliefs on others and in the process prove supremacy of their ideology. There is nothing as dangerous in this world as those who believe with 100% certainty–this level of dogmatism leaves no room for doubt. Secular zealots and religious zealots have one thing in common, they refuse to admit that their belief is grounded in doubt. Those who don’t leave room for doubt though are in for a rude awakening; when cognitive dissonance hits, it wallops with a vicious wack those who reside in the dimensions of black and white.
At the outset of my journey two and a half years ago, an elderly gentleman told me, “Teddy, don’t let your ego rule you, ego means Easing God Out.” It took a two year crucible and a journey of austerity for me to finally loosen my ego, accept humility and admit that I don’t know it all. Here is to hoping that others pause and reflect and stop thinking they are infallible. Irrespective of our level of intellect or acuity, let us admit we don’t know everything and have the humility to leave room for discussion and debate without trying to conquer others with our ideology or lack thereof.
As my friend Trevor Andersen (link) once said, “life is a duality, you have to accept both sides of the coin–you can’t have light without dark”. It was Trevor that inspired the Ghion Cast on duality at the bottom of this article. I was only able to accept his wisdom because I was humbled enough to admit I don’t know it all. Abundance awaits those who accept that our knowledge has limitations, a hard lesson is in the offing for those who think they have no room to learn. #BeHumble
“There is no respect for others without humility in one’s self.” ~ Henri Frederic Amiel
If you appreciated this write up and value the message behind humility contained in it, share this article on social media using #BeHumble
Check out the Ghion Cast below where I discuss the very notion of accepting duality and the humility to accept that we don’t know it all in life.
Big shout out to the following folks who have been a part of a vigourous debate about the very notion of faith and scieece and have been respectful to each other given that these two pillars of humanity have led and continue to lead to wars. Thank you to Rudy Knoop, Kassahun Kebede, Richard Medley Jr., Jim Blyth, Cathy Mims, Senu Freeder, Bobby Frazier, Sebastian Anthony Ilacqua and Lyn Joy
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.
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