THE MISCOMMUNICATION OF WISDOM
Profound wisdom is made too simple by simple minds but it is made too complex by complex minds. – Jared Chan
I see it happening all the time on the internet. There is a massive disconnect going on in the world today and it’s because of poor communication.
There is a massive miscommunication of wisdom going on and a lot of it is coming from the oversaturation of advice and comments posted online. It seems that everybody has something to say, even if they have no idea about what they are saying, but that’s not the main issue, the issue is that people are not paying enough attention to even receive the wisdom properly in the first place.
Great communication always starts by paying attention, not by trying to gain attention. You can even be the first to talk and still be paying attention because it’s the intention behind your talking that determines if you are paying attention or trying to gain it. The secret that I’ve learned along my journey is that paying attention is the best way to gain attention. Do you see the wisdom in how I flipped that around?
So here’s how this plays into the miscommunication of wisdom. Those who are simple minded consume a video, podcast, blog post, or any other form of media, and they don’t pay enough attention in order to extract the details of the wisdom they were trying to consume. What makes things worse, is that they think they’ve got the wisdom, even though they don’t, and they start telling other people their understanding of what they’ve heard in order to gain attention.
This reminds me of a proverb from the bible:
Do you get it? Because the drunk person is bashing everyone with the thorny branch because he’s an idiot and his actions are potentially dangerous. This misapplication of wisdom is dangerous because when you misapply something you can get hurt or hurt somebody else, and misapplication is inevitable if there is miscommunication.
Paying attention in the first place solves this miscommunication problem. You can not afford to be shallow in your approach to learning, otherwise, you’ll only scrape the surface and miss out on the reward that comes from going deeper.
The other problem is that complex minds who actually understand the wisdom have trouble with communicating that understanding in a clear and comprehensible manner. This problem is solved by the same solution to the previous problem, and that’s by paying attention. In this case, these people need to pay attention to their audience, who is right in front of them, so they can suit their use of language to who they are speaking to in order for their message to get across.
In a world of distractions, we need to learn how to pay attention again. Only then will we be able to reclaim the collective wisdom of the internet and of our friends.
By Jared Chan