I write less than I used to. As time goes by I am becoming convinced that I don’t have anything original or interesting to say.
When I was young I was much smarter. Wisdom came to me so fast I couldn’t explain it all.
But, over the years I’ve come to realize the older I get and the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know.
That was an original thought when I thunk it. Nobody enlightened me. I had never heard or read anything like it. It was a brilliant and original epiphany. But now we have the Internet and ego crushing reality is just a search away.
A minute ago I typed “The more I learn…” into Google and here’s what popped up:
The more you learn, the more you know. The more you know, the more you forget. The more you forget, the less you know. So why bother to learn? — George Bernard Shaw
The more you know, the less you understand. — Lao-Tse
And the real stunner:
The more I learn, the more I learn how little I know. — Socrates
Socrates had my original thought some 2,400 years before I did and said it more crisply!
AND, in ancient Greek!
Worse yet, I’ll bet he wasn’t the first guy to figure this out, either. He just had a tremendous publicist.
I suppose having an idea expressed by one of the great thinkers in history come to me all by itself is cool but there’s no point in my passing it along. It obviously occurs to everybody eventually.
Plus, if we all regurgitated every brilliantly mundane original thought we have what would become of the poor philosophy majors who have nothing else to do with their educations?
The other reason I don’t write much anymore is because Americans don’t read much anymore.
We don’t consume information, we spew it.
We Tweet. We text. We spend our days expressing every banal thought that crosses our mind in such a way that we don’t have to bother hearing or reading a response.
Maybe we don’t want response. We’re just spewin’.
Maybe we’re just trying to shut off the noise and hear ourselves think.
I could be wrong about this.
Maybe, but how can I know?
I’ve learned so much, so fast, I’m rushing toward total ignorance.