I hate being wrong. But not for the reasons you might think.
I hate being wrong because I love to teach.
I’m an instructor in the U.S. Air Force, a Sunday school leader, and (sometimes) a speaker of the Word to the youth ministry in which I volunteer. Last, but far from least, I am a parent — the ultimate teaching position. Each of these positions carry an extreme amount of responsibility and, as such, each holds the potential to save or destroy lives depending on one thing — my accuracy in the topics I cover.
I recognize the responsibility and trust that my superiors in each realm have placed in me. I don’t want to let them or my students down. To this end I strive to acquire as much knowledge as I can in whatever subjects I will be communicating to the students with which I am trusted.
Recently, my Pastor described me to our congregation as a, “Learner.” He really was dead on, I love to ask questions and he is one of those whom I see as a authority in his area — which means he gets a lot of questions.
In the professional arena I have the privilege to work alongside engineers of various disciplines. I’ve grown accustom to how some of them immediately appear ready to be annoyed with the questions I will bring to them out of respect for their experience and how well they have helped me in the past. There are a precious few that I have built enough of a relationship that they don’t dumb things down for me. I can’t explain how grateful I am to have a guy give an explanation that is way over my head — then work to pull me up to that level.
The one thing that irks me in my quest for knowledge is when people are afraid to respond or present contradicting information for fear of being wrong. I, for one, fairly frequently find my foot in my mouth due to presenting an idea, theory, or interpretation that is not as well thought out as it sounded in my brain. I feel safe speaking out though because I feel I know the appropriate time to do so.
I speak up around those whom I respect in that area of discussion or inquiry. I do so because I crave mentor-ship and correction.
In an inverse example: if a student asks a question that I can not answer I neither avoid the question nor do I present partial truths, ambiguities, or *shudder* make something up that sounds good. I take a much simpler approach in that I either inform the student that I don’t have the answer but will find it and get back to them — or better we find the answer together.
I love asking questions. I love being asked questions. I love civil debate, discussions, and investigations to find the truth of the matter at hand. I especially love being able and in a position to pass the knowledge I acquire through these activities on to others.
My apologies for the apparent pointlessness to this post. I just needed to rant a bit.
Thanks for sticking through to the end