On a Beach Walk: No. 15

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I like walking the beach as it is good for the body, mind, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

The body of knowledge known by the human race is huge – yet most of us know so little – a mere fraction of the total. What each of us know may be equivalent to a handful of sand on a long beach – if that. It is a meager few drops from the water that I see.

As I gaze down this long beach, I recall the day a fellow teacher knocked on my classroom door. She was polling the staff about their knowledge about a topic on a 1-to-10 scale – to which I paused and answered 4.

Given our past conversations and her knowledge about me, she questioned my choice. “How can you say that when I know you taken classes and workshops, and then trying and implementing these strategies?”

I verified her points about me, but then explained my reflective self-evaluation as a relative point. My reference point were the experts in the field (who I named). “Compared to them I am no more than a 4 – but compared to my colleagues I am a 10 – and there is no way most of them an 8, 9, or 10.”

Yes, knowledge is relative. I look out over the vast waters of the Gulf of Mexico, no land is in sight, yet I know land is out there, but far away. Yet, while the gulf is large compared to the small pond in the neighborhood or the nice lake at a state park, it is small compared to the Atlantic Ocean – and even smaller compared to the Pacific Ocean.

I think of all the water found on Earth – in the lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, bays, gulfs, and oceans – let alone in the ground, the air, as glaciers and icecaps, and within living organisms. The seemingly vast water of the Gulf of Mexico now seem so small. No matter how much one knows, it’s actually so little.

Yes, my knowledge is the small amount of sand that touches my feet as I stare across the water then down both directions of the long beach. While water washing ashore signifies changing times, I still like walking the beach as it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

18 thoughts on “On a Beach Walk: No. 15

  1. What any person knows is like bits of sand on a vast beach, but knowledge is also like a seed that grows, if it is given food, water, and light. It’s the people who think they know everything that bother me.
    Fine beach walk reflections, Frank! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the concept of relative knowledge. I am always astounded by meeting people who have a body of knowledge that is vast. I must say they all share a common element. These learned folks all tend to believe that they need to learn more. I find the most ignorant among us believe they know everything. I am not surprised by your “4” answer, Frank. You have more knowledge than most. (certainly more than me) Super post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • John,
      Relative is an important concept. Is an elephant big? Well … compared to what?

      Oh yes … the truly off-the-charts smart people also impress me … as do the specialists. As for me, I view myself more as a conceptualist who tries to make connections. Besides, I truly believe that the more one learns and knows, the more they realize how much they don’t know – therefore how much more there is to learn.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. First off, I’m desperate to walk barefoot on a beach where it’s at least 60 degrees warmer than the 5 degrees above zero I’m suffering through right now! Otherwise, if someone had asked me the 1-10 question about my chosen field of music, I’d have given myself a 9 on my knowledge of classical music, an 8 on Broadway/Show Tunes, a 7 on jazz, a 5 on classic rock, and 3 on all the rest. What I’m more interested in however, at this point in my life, are the lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, bays, gulfs, oceans, glaciers, icecaps, and the small amount of beach sand under foot you talked about.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Upon further review of my reference points, along with concern about having to retake my college juries, I am revising my response numbers downward to a 7 for Classical, 5 for Jazz, 4 for the combination of Broadway tunes and Movie scores, 3 for Classic rock, and 1.5 for all the rest.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think one way I remain so interested in learning is by being very willing and able to admit what I don’t know! I often say that I know a very little bit about a lot of things because I’m curious and willing to investigate and research an area of interest, but there’s so much more to know than we can ever tap! I will think of your analogy to the sand next time I’m on a beach walk. I love that image. 🙂


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