The root of many problems in my life has been the tendency to think I knew more about someone or something than I actually did. Smart people have always said that a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. My experience proves that my arrogance about that little bit of knowledge has actually been the real danger, robbing me of wisdom, mentors, success, friends, and even, happiness.
There are countless examples of this I could quote, some much more serious than others. A recent “benign” example involves my reluctance to read a bio of Louisa May Alcott because I thought I already knew enough about her from Little Women, Little Men, and a few other books. Boy, was I wrong! My mistake almost cost me:
- Learning about and through the real person, including the intense suffering, hunger, and frustration her family had endured and overcome
- Finding out about her involvement with the anti-slavery movement, Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, James Russell Lowell, John Brown, and many other influential people and events of the mid 1800’s
- Inspiration for my own life, passions, and perseverance
- Appreciation for the sacrifices her mother made, and the ambigious influence her father had, that would ultimately protect the seed of genius In Louisa May Alcott
I am so glad for authors such as Harriet Reisen who understand how much more I need to know!