What I really hate is when some individuals would only want to do the talking and not the listening, without the proper supporting background. I’ve recently begun encountering a lot of individuals who fall under this category. The issue is, I don’t hate those individuals, I just hate it when this issue of talking without proper background knowledge arises, so let’s make sure we note the difference here.
I’ve always been a firm believer that when a person wants to say a word, he or she should first read a thousand words in that specific discipline first. What this would do is make sure that we say the right things all the time, especially when we attempt to make people believe in the message we are trying to deliver.
At 35 years of age, I don’t necessarily believe that I am anywhere near knowing everything that I am supposed to know. Life is always a learning experience, and I strongly believe that we can learn from a professional and from an amateur equally. More than that actually, walking down the street and observing a poor or a homeless may in fact teach us more about life than in classrooms back in Claremont, California, my Ph.D. alma matter. Always be ready to learn, from anyone, and at any time.
Unless you have this type of attitude, you’re always going to be prone to find only one reason to defend the one argument you have. And guess what, when you’re reason is overpowered by a better reasoning or idea, you would only then use your voice, your physical strength, or just simply walk away. This is what the elders have learned in life, only those who refuse to grow older maintain this failing approach.
Ask an elder about it, about yelling and fighting in order to win an argument, see what they have to say. We’ve all been through this, and the smart ones learned through books or time that convincing people is something that is not only dependent on you, but on the recipient as well. You may be doing a good job in rationalizing your side of the discussion, but the recipient also needs to play along, or else time is of a waste.
Just yesterday a young man at the age of 17 asked me a question about the number of years it would take him to earn his Ph.D. I’ve mentioned that I went through 10 years of study, research, reading, and more in order to hold high my earned degree and be proud about a document that shows my brain power. Yes I do now have a bragging right about it, but really it is about the quality of those years, more than anything else.
Two of those years were spent in Washington, D.C. where I dedicated a lot of my time to friends and football. Those years made me pay a big price during my Ph.D. time, because I visited almost all my Masters’ literature again, this time a bit more serious than before. If you want to move forward, always remember that you will one day have to go back, unnecessary at times, in order to use this vast knowledge for a vital discussion, with recipients who are willing to listen.
For academics like myself, being outside the academia world is like being in warfare, it kills you from the inside. You face many brains with locks, many voices without rationale, and many muscles with steroids. All of these unnecessary road blocks towards the brain hinder development, and just causes the smart ones more sleepless nights. Sometimes, an academic would need to take a breather and return back to base, back to the academia world.