Friday, February 8, 2008

My Confessions

· I don’t know the difference between a carburetor and an alternator. I rely on the symbols from my dashboard to light up when I turn on my car. Unless the job requires adding windshield wiper fluid, the hood of my car stays shut.

· I’ll be the first to admit that megabytes, terabytes and gigabytes really don’t mean that much to me. I turn on my computer and pray that it doesn’t crash. That reminds me, any of you computer gurus?

· I don’t know the difference between a D flat and an A sharp. I’m a top 40 guy all the way. If it’s pop sounding, put on the record. Stevie Wonder, just give me some Stevie Wonder!

· I can’t tell Maple or Oak apart. I’ve made it this far right? Oops, knock on wood.

· What function does the cerebral cortex serve again? I forget. I’ll study that if I ever get on Jeopardy.

· Certiorari, Amicus curiae, Habeas Corpus. Tell me why everything in law has to be in Latin again? I’m sure if I ever get locked up I can ask my dad.

· I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference among Jesuits, Augustinians, Benedictines, Dominicans, Franciscans or Xavarians for that matter. By the way, I went to an Augustinian school. They all wear hoods right?

· Alkali metals, halogens, noble gases? Point me in the direction of the periodic table. Is it still color coded?

· I don’t know if I could locate Kazakhstan on the map. Or distinguish it from Kyrgyzstan. Did I spell that correctly? Wait, which country was Borat from?

· I couldn’t tell you much about the Persian Empire, well outside of the movie 300 anyways. That sounds like a Google search to me!

· Aristotle, Plato, Kant, Hobbes. How did I remember Hobbes?

· I don’t know which Chinese language is most prevalent, Mandarin or Cantonese. Ask me to speak either?…Are you crazy! They learn English growing up anyways I’m told.

· I even always mix up the battles of Iwo Jima and Midway and I’m in the military for goodness sake!

Ok, so I don’t know much. In this day in age, I am so thankful for Wikipedia for fostering my curiosities of adult education and for pretty much everything else under the sun that I was supposed to learn in school but brain dumped.

I’ll readily admit that my lack of knowledge is half ignorance. There are certain things like quantum mechanics, binary oppositions or essentialism that I may never comprehend nor want to. The truth is that 99% of what I’m told, I believe. That is because I outsource everything and expect experts to know and do their jobs. Car breaks down? Mechanic. Feel sick? Doctor. Floor repair? Carpenter.

There are only so many books you can read in the self-help, “how to” section of Barnes & Noble.
In today’s world, I rely on everybody else to keep me on pace. I don’t have the time or inclination to research everything from what shoes to buy to which road to take coming home from work. The reality is that even the information I get is outsourced. I turn on the news and trust that the stuff being told me is real. Sure, there are thousands of mediums among TV, print and the internet. I can’t visit them all though, so when it comes to consistency, well of course I’m going to ride horses.

One thing I do not outsource though are my morals, values and ideals. I just cannot allow these seemingly soft, intangible abstracts to be compromised by media, friends or anybody else. Every day that I turn on the news I hear reporters trying to either persuade or lecture me. I walk away unshaken. Sure I change positions occasionally. I’m a sucker for a compassionate argument and given certain facts that I didn’t know before, I’m more than willing to see the “other perspective.” Heck, I enjoy playing devil’s advocate myself and in the process might even question my own feelings on the matter.

My core principles are unchanged though. These ideals passed on to me and learned from experience along the way are just as useful to me as a monkey wrench in a tool box. I use these values as part of my judgment in practically everything I do. When I pass a car broken down on the side of the road, do I stop? If an older lady is behind me, do I wait and hold the door open for them? My life is far from the epic adventure that I’d like it to be. I can’t surf waves, skydive from 16,000ft or drive the Audubon every day. All I can do is listen to my conscience and hope I’m always doing the right thing.

Once and a while when I’m with my volunteering my time, I almost begin to think that “yes, I am doing one thing right today.” For all of those other times, I just pray for forgiveness.

By, the way…sorry for the fragments.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very well said!! I've always believed that true intelligence is not judged by how many random facts you can regurgitate. True intelligence is having the ability to figure out what resources you need to get a job done. No one is an expert at all things. Life just doesn't provide us the time. Success is built on the ability to outsource, and you can certainly consider yourself successful.