The Arrogance of Experience

The Arrogance of Experience

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” William Shakespeare, As You Like It.

I have always found this to be one of the most accurate comments that Shakespeare has ever produced. I find that as soon as one accepts their own intelligence or wisdom then they are doomed to a life of ignorance. I have always had a thirst for knowledge and care little about from where that knowledge can be gained or achieved. I find that knowledge is something that we all possess elements of but to achieve the intact ‘Grail’, as it were, is little more than a fallacy.

This is the reason that I find teaching such a rewarding experience in many ways. I am challenged on a daily basis to prove my worth and the wealth of my knowledge and teenagers, by their very nature, are eager to impress theirs upon me. Therefore, it’s a very rewarding experience for me and I know all too well the myth that Shakespeare dispels.

I can easily forgive a child for asserting their knowledge in a way that could be misconstrued as arrogant. However, the profession of teaching is – woefully – littered with those who are so insecure in their own lack of knowledge that they cannot accept the acumen of youth. I’ve met – and continue to meet – many such people and can’t help but feel there is a deep tragedy to this for those they have the misfortune of educating.

If one cannot accept the ingenuity and fresh perspectives that the youth can bring, this is disastrous for the individual. However, if that individual is a teacher then the effects are catastrophic.

If we expurgated future generations due to our own insecurities and misplaced pride then we rob the world of a brighter tomorrow!

If a student questions me because of my position I welcome it, but if an older person does the same due to my age I feel offended.

Isn’t this surely the most beneficial way towards the advancement of civilization?


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