“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
“The first test of a truly great man is his humility. By humility I don’t mean doubt of his powers or hesitation in speaking his opinion, but merely an understanding of the relationship of what he can say and what he can do.” John Ruskin
Doubt in ourselves is so easy to embrace. Why would we ever think we were the one, holding on to the truth. So many of us have so much to give, and so many opinions to offer, but we remain silent. Our nervousness overcomes us, and we back down at the last minute. How many times do we plan to say something, and we are trying to wait our turn, but then someone says a similar version of what we had in mind, and we begin to doubt our own thoughts.
In the end, we put our hand down and stop responding, like a computer that has lost its connection. I know I do it all the time. I do believe I have made progress, every time I have the courage to raise my hand. I make the attempt, and if I am not quickly acknowledged, I pull my hand down just as fast. How lame I feel when I do this. I still have faith in my beliefs, yet I can’t work up the courage to share them with others. I’m not sure if I am doubting myself, or my worthiness to offer such ideas.
Maybe that is the crux of our problem. In the world of academia, you must show credentials before you have any rights to speak. After all, life experiences that once counted far above diplomas now don’t count at all. Apprenticeship is a dinosaur in a way unless the academic world deems it worthy. This is another area where we have lost the ability to think. Why we doubt our worth, and talent, has more to do with false ideas and opinions.
We have gone from a society of free-thinking to a world of herding by the few. After all, no matter how many diplomas or credentials are displayed, it does not forbid us from voicing our own ideas. I am not suggesting we tell the doctor what to do, without knowledge, but if we worked on the front lines during a war, and aided the injured, then on some level we do have a voice to state what we perceive. We can’t tell lawyers how to behave in a courtroom, but any experience we have had regarding courtrooms may allot us an opinion worth stating. Teachers don’t want parents to tell them how to run a classroom, but certainly, parents know their own kids. They may offer insight into this area, regarding what has worked or not for their child.
What I am referring to, is the fact that there are almost too many degrees. I say that not because I am against degrees or learning, but because it blocks out so many people, from appreciating their own knowledge, about a variety of things in our lives. As they say, we can be book-learned, but experience always matters. Every kind of experience gives us more insight, into the workings of the world, and each other. Many of us gain our knowledge from books, without having attended formal college.
If we choose to keep ourselves locked out of discussions, because we think we don’t know enough, we should think again. Even when we are dealing with an illness, it is important to realize we are the ones living with it. We comprehend the challenges, perhaps more than the doctor, and we have a right to voice our thoughts. Everyone holds papers and fine words in front of us, and we get scared off from thinking.
I most definitely am not talking about rebellion, but I see so many people even at places of work, who are ruled by a chosen few. They believe they either don’t know enough, or they are nervous about those people who always get to set the rules. It is so sad to waste so many ideas, that never get presented. Those running the show want to keep it that way.
We must trust ourselves and have more faith in what we know, and what we can do. So what if your thoughts are not followed. You spoke and made the minds of others reflect, on the words you spoke. Change takes time, and it is slow in the making. I would not disagree for the sake of disagreeing, but doubting oneself is degrading the fine person we are.
Realizing that even the professionals, change their minds about the correct way to teach, doctor, treat psychiatric patients, raise kids, nurse kids, the debate of nature or nurture, food, exercise, and so many other things. If the ideas can change so often then just maybe nobody has the truth about anything in this world. We just can’t be afraid to reflect on things ourselves, and take more responsibility. This is not about letting others lead and dumping accountability on them. It is about using our own brains to formulate thoughts and ideas. Our talents should not be, unnoticed and unused.
We can be brave to step out of patterns and offer insight. I don’t mean fighting or engaging in verbal warfare, which will not make any progress for anyone. I do mean new ideas and ways to handle or do things. We might find there are many others who totally agree with us. We can’t use the excuse, we can’t do something, or we are not as smart as others. We all have gifts, and they should be used to help us and others. All we need to do to make a better world is to believe we are better than we previously thought. It is time to make our appearance known. If we want kindness, empathy, and caring to count more than bullying, then we must speak up for those who display it. We again won’t change things overnight, but we can get a spark going which might light a fire of change.
“A hero is someone who, in spite of weakness, doubt or not always knowing the answers, goes ahead and overcomes anyway.” Christopher Reed
“he greatest obstacle to being heroic is the doubt whether one may not be going to prove one’s self a fool; the truest heroism is to resist the doubt; and the profoundest wisdom, to know when it ought to be resisted, and when it be obeyed.” Nathaniel Hawthorne