The Older I Get…

J. Keith Hughey


Volume XXI, Number 50 (Issue 1054) December 11, 2023

The Older I Get…

Last week’s Musing addressed the role of quality communication, all that it involves, and all it represents, especially in reducing uncertainty. Knowledge gained through experience also reduces uncertainty. If you need proof, look no further than the first teenager you meet. If they are remotely typical, they will let you know how much they know along with how very little you know. That is especially true if you happen to be the parent of said teen. For those who have experienced the joy and frustration of raising a child to adulthood, you know what I mean.

The thing is, the older I get, the less certain I am of what I once thought I knew. I like to think that is because the more time I spend on this earth, the more I learn. And the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. I also realize there are very few absolutes in life even though many speak and act as if their opinions are the gospel. Thus, if you do not agree with them, you are wrong. For those who hold the highest opinion of themselves and their thoughts, there is no room for gray, let alone contrary views.

That is not to say I do not have opinions and beliefs that I hold dear. For instance, the tenets of my faith inform and guide me. As such they undergird many of the decisions I make. Hopefully, they also are reflected in my words and actions each day. In saying that, I am suddenly reminded of a line attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, “Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words.” Consistency between word and deed and deed and deed speak volumes. There again, so too does inconsistency. Unfortunately, it is just not the message that allows others to build trust in us. But I digress.

The point I wish to make is that with experience comes knowledge. Knowledge, properly applied, is the working definition of wisdom. Wisdom, in turn, is knowing what you know, what you do not know, the ability to separate fact from fiction, and perhaps most important of all, recognizing opinion, be it your own or someone else’s. As such, it has been dawning on me of late that the certainties I once held might more appropriately be labeled my point of view (i.e., my interpretation of the things I’ve read, heard, seen, and experienced.

The longer I am around, the more I learn. The more I learn, the less I know for certain.

Soli Deo Gloria

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

J. Keith Hughey

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Copyright 2023 by J. Keith Hughey. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted for reproduction and redistribution of this essay as provided under the copyright laws of the United States of America. The entire early library of Monday Morning Musings issues may be found at Your comments are welcome and encouraged.

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