Know what you know –
In these days of fast technology and inspirational posts going viral, it is easy to get lost in the chatter of it all. We are pushed and pulled from one new revealing article to the next with knowledge and judgement seeping out of every screen we come across. But I think in a strange way, we have never had access to so much information while at the same time been more ignorant. We have stopped trusting our own gut feelings. I fear that we are sometimes afraid to know what we know, rather choosing to google and research every topic that comes to mind. I worry that we are no longer learning from cause and effect anymore.
On a Friday afternoon around 2 pm, I was looking out the window of my writing room. I noticed that once again my mango tree will not have a bumper crop of fruit at the end of the year. I saw a little green lizard scamper across the wall and I noticed a red bird stealing a long leaf from a nearby tree for his new home. I also saw a man peering over my fence from my neighbour’s garden.
My first instinct was to see if he needed something but there was something odd about him and I became suspicious. As I moved closer to my window, he turned his back on me, looked long and hard to the left of him, then long and hard to his right and then, he let himself into the glass door of my neighbour’s empty kitchen.
I was left in confusion. There was definitely something odd about him, yet he walked right into the house. I told myself that I’d misjudged the man and that I was jumping to conclusions. It was the middle of the day for goodness sake. The sun was shining and the pool was glistening. I went into my garden and as the man came out the house, I noticed him cleaning the glass door. As he played with his measuring tape, we chatted about my mangos. We spoke about the shelves he was installing and the fact that he knew how to fix computers.
As he walked away, I chastised myself for being distrusting. For thinking the worst in people. For misjudging him. The guilt and embarrassment that rushed over me made me feel dirty. This man had been polite. He was clean and tidy. He was doing his job. It turned out that he was also stealing the TV inside my neighbour’s house. He was not building a shelf. He didn’t care about my mangoes and for all I know the computers he fixed were all stolen from houses similar to my neighbours. I had refused to trust what I had seen.
I had forgotten to know what I knew. All the clues had been there, but I was willing to believe that I was the one at fault. I took all the information that was in front of me, disassembled it, and put it back together in a more palatable way. I couldn’t google my response. My gut told me what I needed to know, yet I was willing to believe that I was the guilty party. In this day of information flow, I ignored all the information at hand. I couldn’t help wondering why I have started doubting myself and when my mind deemed me untrustworthy. From now on, I will have to remember to listen to those voices inside my head. Some of them know what they are talking about.