About knowing

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My niece recently postulated that you cannot really know something until you do it. You can’t say you know how to eat well if you eat Twinkies for breakfast but know you should be eating oatmeal. Or, you can’t say you know how to raise children by watching Leave it to Beaver or God help us, The Simpsons. You actually have to go get your own kids and live through the temper tantrums, the 20-inning baseball games, the bad decision making, and the late nights worrying. Then and only then do you know how to raise kids.

Being good at it is another story for another day. But for now, doing, acting upon, process, follow through; Action is the key. Imagining and contemplation have their place. But if you want to be a master of something, it involves action verbs.

When you were little you never had to motivate yourself to learn something. If you wanted to build a sand castle you worked and worked until it was finished. Along the way you learned the water to sand ratio, you learned basic physics through trial and error, and you learned about time and tides and the power of water through experience, not by reading a book or a tide chart.

Somewhere along the way we lose that exploration gene and we need motivation. It is different for each of us. Some of us are motivated by money, others by the sheer joy of completing a task list.

My motivation lies in the process, I truly enjoy writing. My issue du jour isn’t that I don’t know how to write a book. I know how to write a book because I have done it, but I’m not sure I know how to write a good book. So a very smart woman gave me a very good book and said, “Read more of these.”

And so I shall…and I suppose I will bring one to the next 20-inning game!

What do you know by doing?

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5 Responses to About knowing

  1. samantha says:

    I know how to be a potter by doing it but it doesnt mean I’m a good potter. I must need to visit more galleries with great potter’s work! thanks sally

  2. joan chandler says:

    HARMONY. I attended junior high school in Stoneham, MA, where the class size was about 200, a far cry from my experience in little Bridgton, Maine. Music class in 7th grade consisted of about 70 multiage, somewhat disinterested students, singing along to a printed sheet of lyrics to various popular and classic songs, and led by a student volunteer. But at age 14, I actually listened for the first time to singers harmonizing intuitively. SERENDIPITY. From that year on, I sang a second or third or fourth part to every song I heard on the radio or on records or in movies. Now that I’ve done it for 54 years, many times at the top of my lungs while driving the car, I’ve become a pretty fair harmonizer. I’d like to think that I’ve developed a knack for harmony in life, too – by the same method: relentless trial, and often error, but eventually being a happy second or third or fourth party in a group of people making metaphorical music together. Our writing group performs in beautiful and entertaining harmony, even though some of us profess to being unable to carry a tune in a basket. Great blog topic.

    • Linda says:

      Like like like!!! I’ve been painting furniture for about 15-20 years… just for fun, just to see the vibrant colors in the doldrums of wintertime in New England…. I’m not sure I’m a painter, or an artist, but I act like one… and this saturday is my first official entry as an artist/creator of painted furniture and home accessories at a juried art fair! (: so, who knows where hobbies will take us? and doing what we love to do, just because we love to do it…..

  3. reigning champion says:

    I’m an excellent winner. I’ve practiced winning by winning. I also enjoy winning. Nothing like experiential education.

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