Tuesday, 29 March 2011

It Is Not Just About What You Know.

Yesterday I bought a set of bathroom scales. So you ask what is so special in that? Well, nothing if they were just another set of bathroom scales. These are made just for a person like me who is a lover of gadgets and toys for boys. These scales tell me my weight. Nothing special in that at all! Then they go a step further and tell my body fat, and the amount of water in my body. They also tell me of my bone density and body mass. They then finish by giving a reading of what the daily intake of calories for that day should be to maintain these statistics.

So I go for a run, come home, have a bath, and then I stand on the scales and learn all this information about myself. All this information I never knew before. My first thought was, marvellous, wow. Then I began to think, I have been running all those years and I have never had to think about those things. I ran very well this morning before I knew all this. If I had not learned it I would have still prepared to get up tomorrow and go running.

You see the bottom line is not what you know about yourself, but what you do with what you know. What you know about yourself and what you know about others is only of value if you use that information with wisdom.

A nice little story.

I remember leading a retreat for a group of young people. I told them we were going to try and learn something about ourselves and how to trust each other.
They were all to stand, facing away from their partner, and fall backward, relying on another person to catch them. Most of them were naturally uncomfortable with this, and could not let go for more than a few inches before stopping themselves.
There was a lot of embarrassed laughter.
Finally, one young person, a thin, quiet, dark-haired girl whom I had noticed almost always wore bulky, white fisherman sweaters, she crossed her arms over her chest, closed her eyes, leant back, and did not flinch, like one of those Lipton tea commercials where the model splashes into the pool..
For a moment, I was sure she was going to thump on the floor. At the last instant, her assigned partner grabbed her head and shoulders and yanked her up harshly.
“Whoa!” several others yelled. Some clapped. She turned and smiled. “You see”, I said to the girl, “you closed your eyes, That was the difference. Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them too – even when you're in the dark. Even when you're falling".

It is not just what you know but what you do with what you know.

It is so often the same with our art it is not just what we know we need to convey but what we feel. It is using what we know.

This blog is linked to my other.   Do No LookBack


  1. That does sound like a neat gadget, and I'm a big believer in knowing more about myself, but I've heard those things send an electric current into your body. That sounds a wee bit scary. I wonder how my little students would do with the trust activity. I bet they would be good at the trusting and would try their very best at the catching. Sometimes I think I learn more from them than they do from me. Good post!

  2. you scale story reminds me a little of how I want an iphone....but then I don't want an iphone..lol, I have always done fine without one.
    Like your retreat story too--so true!

  3. Alas, I'd rather NOT know those things about myself Ralph. LOL

  4. My last post is about feeling as well. Emotion is a huge part of art.

    So this scale? It seems impossible for a gadget to tell you all this information. Hum? How do you like it? Mine already tells me too much, my weight!