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The Gift of Knowing that You Do Not Know Everything - By Dr. Jane Nannono

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The Gift of Knowing that You Do Not Know Everything - By Dr. Jane Nannono

Arguably no one is perfect and no one can know everything. Knowledge changes fast and this demands that we keep abreast by being willing to learn every day. We first learn things from those around us, then join the formal education in schools, colleges and universities. We also learn about the world around us through experience.


Knowledge is not meant to be contained but it should be used to act better: to make better informed decisions in life, applied to improve our own lives and other people’s lives. In such situations then, knowledge is truly power. Since new knowledge keeps coming up or old knowledge becomes outmoded to enhance our understanding of the world around us and improve the quality of our lives, learning should be a lifelong job. When you know, you act better and your confidence and self-esteem is boosted. I seek knowledge every day for both personal and professional development.

I find it extremely exciting to be alive and active during this technology–driven 21stcentury where things change often and very fast too. It demands that I remain an apprentice in how to live a full life if I am to remain relevant and useful. I would be my worst enemy if I took myself to know so much that I do not need to learn anything new.


Socrates, the Greek philosopher and one of the founders of western philosophy, said: “True Knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing.’’ He also said: “I know that I am intelligent because I know that I know nothing.”


Jim Rohn, an entrepreneur, also said: “You cannot learn until you know that you do not know and seek for the knowledge.” When you know that you do not know, you seek to know. You humble yourself and open up your mind and heart to learn new things. When you learn things and understand then you grow. 


There are learning tasks for each stage of our lives. I have come a long way from the naïve and inexperienced young woman to the sage – searching for the reality behind appearances, decoding clues and solving the underlying riddle of existence. It would not surprise me if I started speaking in riddles and parables!


Ken Keyes said: “Everyone and everything around you is your teacher.’’ In my quest for knowledge I have learned from the simple child, the youth, my peers and the elderly around me. I have also been able to learn from the plants, insects, birds and animals around me. I am able to do this only when I open myself up and I am willing to learn. It is the only way to keep abreast of change.


It all starts by accepting that as a human being, I can never know everything. This is the actual gift which frees my mind to learn more. Depending on the situation, I can learn new things, relearn old but relevant things or unlearn outmoded and irrelevant things. The only thing that can limit me is myself.


I can never thank my parents enough for helping me to develop a passion for learning and encouraging me to do things by myself. They opened up a world of wonder for me and I am doing the same for my children and those around me.


Someone said that anyone who stops learning, whatever the age, is as good as dead. I will not allow this to happen to me. I have declared myself a student for life and would love to recruit you too. Are you ready and willing to join me in this rejuvenating exercise?

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