December 16, 2011
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Feeling stupid is something few of us like. We want to sound intelligent but sometimes cannot let go of the uncertainties and fears – uncertainties and fears about our own ideas, beliefs, habits and thoughts and mistakes we make in comparison to other people in a negative way. Feeling stupid is simply being out of contact with our own knowledge, abilities and confidence. Feeling stupid is about comparing ourselves to others in a negative way instead of seeing the value of our own individuality. When we feel stupid we know we are stuck and embarrassed, but we have to remember that everyone has moments of feeling stupid. The solution: recognize this and move beyond your uncertainties and fears. Stop comparing yourself to others, and have confidence in your own knowledge and abilities to move forward to let go of your “stupidity”. From moments of “stupidity” come moments of new knowledge if we let go and move forward.
Letting go of your stupidity is sometimes difficult. We tend to hold on to those things that embarrass us or make us feel inadequate simply because we learned to whenever we feel stupid. We forget that everyone has also felt this way at one time or another. Everyone has felt stupid or inadequate. Were our teachers or parents enlightened people to help us recognize this, or were only the “smart” people or actions always pointed out and rewarded. “Smart” people? “Stupid” people? All of us have fallen into these categories at one time or another. Were our teachers or parents focused on teaching us what was best for us as unique individuals, or on strictly passing on their own brand of knowledge – something that worked for them but which might not have been best for us?
Our own knowledge is about looking at the new, the untried, the different – and making mistakes. Making mistakes is how we learn and acquire more knowledge. Our knowledge lies in growth – and the one constant in growth is change. Without change, there is no growth, and without letting go of yesterday’s beliefs and ideas of “stupidity” there’s no room for new knowledge.
There’s something limiting about hanging on to our own “stupidity”. It can be like carrying a large rock tied to us that weighs us down and prevents us from moving forward and acquiring more knowledge. In some ways it can represent “failure” – but in many ways, failure is the best way to learn and gain knowledge. Sticking to our “stupidity” and not moving forward from our mistakes is like putting up a curtain in front of our windows and not letting in the sunlight of new knowledge. We are stuck in the darkness of our own “stupidity” and we believe in it and think we are the only ones to have ever felt stupid.
We have to be active in letting go of our own sense of stupidity – having the confidence to move forward and learn new knowledge from our failures and mistakes. We have to consider that everyone has felt stupid – and let that be the only comparison we make with others. We have to value our own individuality and learning abilities and stop comparing ourselves to others. Have confidence in your own knowledge, learn new knowledge from your failures and mistakes – and let go of your “stupidity”.
October 9, 2011
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Everyone in this world – at some time in life – experiences moments when they feel stupid. It takes other times when we share our own knowledge with someone else to make us realize we’re not so completely stupid after all. Remember, it’s more important to focus on these knowledge moments rather than the “stupid” ones. It’s also at those moments when we need to be thankful for the individual knowledge each of us has and that each of us can share.
That being said, it’s also important not to ignore too quickly those “stupid” moments and pretend as if they never happened. If we take time to think about those uncomfortable “stupid” moments for a second, and not so dismissively shy away from them – while also recognizing that everyone experiences them – we can begin to see how they challenge us to see our common humanity with all of its faults, failures and “stupidity” – and be better human beings.
When we see our common humanity and feel some sort of connection or bond with others based on our own shortcomings, “failures” or “stupidity” – these are moments when some of our best knowledge for the benefit of others can come forth. I believe that it’s because I can see the possibility of another person’s “stupidity” in myself, and recognize the possibility of another person’s embarrassment or hurt that I feel that person may challenge me to grow as a human being. These are possibilities of knowledge mobilization when I connect my own “knowledge of stupidity” to another person’s “knowledge of stupidity” and learn from them for future social benefit. Instead of brushing them aside, we can see them as moments of knowledge opportunities, not only for us in our individual lives, but also to make this world a better place for everyone. By ignoring this “knowledge of stupidity” we do ourselves a huge disservice, for we lose any opportunity for knowledge mobilization.
On a wider socio-political scale – knowledge mobilization is about informing government and institutional policy makers to make better decisions based on growing knowledge that has been exchanged by researchers and research users.
On a wider human scale – knowledge mobilization is about informing everyone to make better decisions based on growing knowledge that has been exchanged by everyone. Yet how often in this wide world of humanity do our fears, embarrassment or ignorance stop us from growing and connecting with others through such knowledge moments.
Sandra Nutley in her book Using Evidence demonstrates that research utlization (=Knowledge Mobilization/KMb) is a social process. It’s this social nature of knowledge mobilization that allows individuals to connect around their “knowledge of stupidity”.
So next time you find yourself feeling “stupid” – take a moment to recognize it as a moment of knowledge mobilization to connect with the “knowledge of stupidity” for social benefit. Remember to recognize that everyone experiences feeling stupid at some point in their lives (even if they won’t admit it) and see how it challenges us to see our common humanity with all of its faults, failures and “stupidity” to be better human beings – connecting with others on a more human caring level – and maybe you (and the world we live in) won’t feel so stupid after all!