We have all endured presumptuous “know-it-alls” in our lives—the people that have not only forgotten more than we will ever know, but that are dead-set on convincing the world of that fact. They think we are idiots and they will do their best to get us, and the rest of the world, to agree with them.
Their blinders often prevent them from seeing that they might be talking to someone with even more experience than themselves.
The “truth” however is closer to the fact that we were all beginners—all newbies—once upon a time; and, without training, education, mentor-ship and luck, we could not likely have gotten to where we are today.
It is like the bus that won’t stop to pick up someone standing at the curb—someone who is merely wanting to get where they are going—even when they have the fare in their hand.
In our professional lives though, the bus analogy does not always hold up, because a real bus can actually get filled up and there might not physically be enough room for another passenger.
In our lives, our profession is a “metaphorical bus,” and it is pretty rare that the bus is full. While it can happen, it is more likely that there will be another bus, or similar bus, that will take us to a place that works for us. While we all must be vigilant about those looking for a free ride, those folks are more like the other side of the coin—the “know-it-all’s” equally evil twin.
The “know-it-all” is the guy that pretends the bus is full, when they know darn well it isn’t.
Their attitude is consistent with the general greed and selfishness pervasive in our culture today. It is an attitude that seems counterproductive to the worthy goal of allowing all of us to become useful human beings. It manifests itself in elitism, racism, nationalism and many other isms you can probably think of.
Then there are the professionals that freely give away everything they know because they can still remember the help they got along the way. They are willing to help the newbie get on the bus, because they know that it will come back to them in ways that may not be immediately measurable—only coming to life over time.
They are more than happy to serve up quality information in the soup kitchen of life.
We all have things to give away that didn’t cost us anything to begin with. Sometimes the things we are unwilling to give away become a ball and chain.
There is much to commend the channeling of one’s “beginner’s mind,” in all our endeavors, no matter how experienced we are.
The “know-it-all” is the person who does not remember the time when they were the idiot they still are.