I happened upon this quote of Epictetus, “It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.” How odd that this nugget of wisdom from the ancient Epictetus is still a resounding truth today!
Take, for example, the idea that for centuries we feared sailing beyond the sight of land because we just KNEW that we would fall off the edge of the world. And yet, we were eventually able to learn the truth that the earth doesn’t just drop us off when we go so far.
For many years we just KNEW that the Moon was made of cheese, yet we were eventually able to overcome that thinking to realize that attempting to make a sandwich with the Moon was not exactly ideal for the digestion.
Consider, also, the notions regarding diet. For a while, eggs are bad, then they are good, then they are back on the naughty list with bacon and all the other foods I find thoroughly tasty. We also have been told that meat is bad, then it is good, then it is bad again. The same can be said for bread, butter, sugar, coffee, beer, and other delectables.
We go to the beach and are told that the sun can cause skin cancer so slather on lots of sunscreen. Then we are told that the ingredients of the sunscreen are ineffective as sunscreen but make an excellent skin softener.
I mistrust anyone who claims to have the final knowledge on any subject! How many times have you decided not to order something from the menu because someone you knew told you THEY didn’t like it? How many times have you had a wonderful experience at a business only to have that experience jaded because someone you knew had a bad experience?
We seem to miss out on so much wonder found in this world because we think we already know all about it, yet we make new discoveries quite frequently. We need to start opening our own eyes and senses to experience this world for ourselves! Stop relying on the declarations of, let’s face it, other human beings as flawed as we are.
Why do we elevate the opinions of others above our own? Are they the ones who will be living YOUR life? NO! You live your life! You experience your own adventures! Let’s open our senses and LIVE our own lives! See the world with your own vision!