A.D.O.P.T. is an acronym that I coined to stand for “A dash of practical thinking.” Sometimes I reflect on what I know, what I think I know, and what I know I don’t know. Far too often, the last two show me how surprisingly minuscule the first category actually is. That leads me to believe that humility is easily relegated to a position of unimportance as an underrated characteristic when we teach future generations the keys that we have found to open the doors of success.
But humility can help guide a person to the banks of rivers of wisdom. Humility, can create opportunity where before there was only contention. Humility can pave a road that leads to the tools with which a person may create the tangible manifestations of their most heartfelt dreams and desires.
An eternity could be lost if you attempt to, like Descartes, get to the essence of what you “truly” know. At some point, one has to come to terms with the necessities of life, even if many of those perceived “necessities” are actually luxuries and not needs. It can be hard to see past the veil of self-importance and cultural molding that we are often subjected to since birth. Yet, it is possible.
Sometimes, coming back to the basics is the most certain way to move forward. I have come to believe that in order to live well, I must be willing to more often than not say that I don’t know aloud in order to both practice humility and provide an opportunity to others to share what they do know. I listen when I don’t know, but keep in mind that just because someone speaks and sounds certain, it doesn’t mean that they actually know anything at all. That’s what I call a dash of practical wisdom. A life skill that I believe it would behoove many to A.D.o.P.T.
I like the way Henry David Thoreau phrases speaks about knowledge in Walden:
Men Say They Know Many Things
BY HENRY DAVID THOREAU
Men say they know many things;
But lo! they have taken wings, —
The arts and sciences,
And a thousand appliances;
The wind that blows
Is all that any body knows.
Thoreau, H.D. (1854). Men Say They Know Many Things. Retrieved from https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46270/men-say-they-know-many-things