~Know better; Do better; See evidence of~…

by Margrett Dawson Wallace
(Pelham, Georgia USA)


~Know better; Do better; See evidence of~…

We may know better, but do the same out of habit. We "know", but we don't have faith enough in ourselves to change. It seems too much like "work", and it IS, but nothing good comes easy, you have to put time and effort into making a change for the better, or things stay stagnantly the same.

Maya Angelou said "when we know better, we do better". Really? Many of us know better and continue doing what we've always done. But what if we actually did better once we knew better?

The first step of change is awareness. We cannot change something unless we are aware, or know, that this something requires change.

OK, that gets us to knowledge...

In the sanskrit language, there are two distinct words to describe the english word 'knowledge'. One is 'jnana' which can be roughly translated as intellectual or theoritical knowledge. Then there's 'vijnana' or practical understanding of how to apply the theoritical knowledge in real life. Both are equally important in the process of acquiring knowledge and both have a specific function in that process.

When you reflect on Maya's statement, if you assume she only means 'jnana' or theoritical understanding, it is easy to argue it's validity. If, on the other hand, you take the words 'know better' to mean 'practical understanding' or 'realized knowledge', or 'vijnana', the statement makes a lot more sense.

The questions that remain are 'what is better?' How do you define 'better' ? Is there a definition and a practical application of 'better' that is equally beneficial to all living things?

“I don't know if I continue, even today, always liking myself. But what I learned to do many years ago was to forgive myself. It is very important for every human being to forgive herself or himself because if you live, you will make mistakes- it is inevitable. But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say, 'well, if I'd known better I'd have done better,' that's all. So you say to people who you think you may have injured, 'I'm sorry,' and then you say to yourself, 'I'm sorry.' If we all hold on to the mistake, we can't see our own glory in the mirror because we have the mistake between our faces and the mirror; we can't see what we're capable of being. You can ask forgiveness of others, but in the end the real forgiveness is in one's own self. I think that young men and women are so caught by the way they see themselves. Now mind you. When a larger society sees them as unattractive, as threats, as too black or too white or too poor or too fat or too thin or too sexual or too asexual, that's rough. But you can overcome that. The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself. If we don't have that we never grow, we never learn, and sure as hell we should never teach.”

So stop all the pointing of fingers at educators/education and do something yourself. What-ever-you-do…’do it to the best of your ability’. My poppa taught me that, “if you see a problem and you fail to work toward solving or a solution to the problem, you become the problem”. ~Know better; Do better; See evidence of~…“I am”…never to live this life again…

My Problem or Yours

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