Tuesday, February 2, 2010

It's Moments Like These.....

I do not fancy myself a wise man. I've received a college education, yes, but I'd be lying if I said I understood everything I was taught; some of those books zipped right over my head, and on more than one occasion I chose to go for a long bike ride instead of hitting the library. The years I spent in school left my brain filled with plenty of useless--I mean useful--information; however, all my learning also left me with an awful, reoccurring delusion: that I actually know things. I'm not talking about great depths of wisdom, or breadths of knowledge; I'm mainly talking about the little stuff. I'm talking about the basics: how to make a grilled cheese sandwich, how to operate a microwave (an integral part of making a grilled-cheese, right?), and lastly, how to tie my shoes.

But then there are moments, like the one I had yesterday, where I realize that something that I know -- something that I really really know for sure -- is completely wrong. And I'm once again reminded that, the only thing I really know, is that I know nothing. What kills me is that I keep forgetting that fact, and tricking myself into thinking I know things. Socrates wasn't brilliant for thinking up that saying, he was brilliant for remembering it. And so it was that yesterday, I learned that I've been tying my shoes incorrectly my whole life.

Yes, tying my shoes. Wrong. My whole life.

I remember first learning to tie my shoes as a little boy. I remember the excitement of graduating from the velcro shoes of little boys, to the shoes with laces that big boys wear. I also remember the frustration of those damn laces, and that damn knot. I remember a tiresome ordeal, complete with clumsy fingers, an impatient parent/teacher, and some confusing story about a rabbit who goes around a bush and through a hole. (Side note: I hated that rabbit and his nonsense, and even at four years old, wanted to skin him alive.) Nevertheless, (after several remedial, rabbit-free lessons) I learned, and eventually mastered shoe-tying, and have been a successful practitioner ever since. Or so I thought. I couldn't have been more wrong! There's a better way! My whole reality just crumbled around me, my little, carefully built castle of me -- suddenly blown to bits by the cannons of a two-minute YouTube lesson on tying shoes. What is left? NOTHING! I KNOW NOTHING! SEE FOR YOURSELF, LIFE IS A BOTTOMLESS PIT OF MYSTERY:


Martin Criminale said...

Just you wait for the next epiphany, that everything you see/read/watch on the Internet isn't necessarily so; and hopefully I didn't just pull a, "I've been meaning to talk to you about Santa Claus..."?

Perhaps a Parrot said...

First off, I have no idea what you meant by that bit about Santa -- what's he have to do with this? Second, I know full well the internet is full of lies. Thank god for wikipedia for setting us straight.