Before proffering the metaphor, I must first beat another theme into submission.
Pride, Arrogance and Condescension
In my last post, I concluded that these character flaws are key contributors to keep us from learning all that we might learn. This is probably related to illusory superiority, a type of confirmation bias (if you don’t know what this means, it is well worth doing a little bit of reading on the subject). What value is in-depth study when I am already one of the “best of the best of the best.” The virtual world of self-deception is such a comfortable place to lounge. I was stuck. I was one of the dogs continuously returning to the same ol’ cache to sup.
Once I quit fooling myself and began expanding my ignorance (which seems to grow faster than knowledge), my prior sophomoric wisdom started to echo in my ears. It is painful to listen to others espousing that same idiocy I wallowed in for decades.
The pain comes not so much from the reminder that I traversed that level of development, but that I was stuck there for so long and that I may have encouraged others to propagate the mistake. It is easier to eat from the cache than to fill it.
Pride, Arrogance and Condescension Reprise
How easy it is to learn a little bit and then think we are wise. How easy it is to move ever so slightly ahead and look back on others with scorn. This trait seeps through so much of the material I study that it is a constant reminder to keep my guard up and not follow that path.
The Education Metaphor
Which, then, is the point of the metaphor:
What man upon receiving a PhD would look with derision at those in kindergarten, knowing that his knowledge is superior to theirs?
The very idea is absurd.
Equally absurd would be the idea of keeping an individual from graduating from 7th grade for twenty years.
Most absurd would be keeping the entire school from graduating, but that is a topic for another time.