The Know-it-all Plague

“Mirror, Mirror on the wall; who is the smartest of them all?” We all know the answer to that; of course the mirror replies “YOU!” This phenomenon has consumed the globe like a plague.

Sure, we are in a pandemic but in my opinion the real reason behind someone causing this pandemic (intentionally or unintentionally is irrelevant here) is just that – the notion of being the smartest!

And this mentality is rampant all the way from the top tier to the bottom. The only difference is that we have a choice to walk away from certain individuals; but forced to live with consequences when someone at the top tier chooses to impose their smartness (aka power/ambition) on us.

Yes, it is true that we are not equal! It is the bitter truth.

When we eat meat, we justify it to the vegetarians by saying this is the design of the ecosystem and is required to keep the balance; exactly like the laws of the animal kingdom. The predators rule! It is as basic as that. Does it mean that despite so much advancement in science and technology, humans are indeed still primitive in nature?

So, it took ages for the human brain to evolve and to get to where we are today yet we live like cavemen. And our survival instinct tells us that in order to survive we must outsmart (patronize) another human being (another country, it’s all the same analogy whichever tier you pick). Isn’t that a pathetic way of living?

With experience I have learnt that someone who is fearful and insecure feels the need to patronize another human. It is his constant fear of loss of existence which doesn’t allow him to treat another fellow human with dignity. We think it is cool to abuse someone with harsh words or show them their place. Being constantly in this state (aka defensive mode) is a sad state of being. It is evident that there is no joy in our gut. So, what do we do to pretend that we are joyful? – We travel to exotic destinations and take pictures for social media (another superficial attempt to mask our emptiness).

But why is it so? We do not live in the caves or hunt for food and survival anymore?

So, why do we feel threatened?

In my opinion, it is because we aren’t secure just ‘being’; we suffer from a loss of identity because we aren’t grounded. And we aren’t ‘grounded’ because we aren’t taught that since we were children growing roots for existence. We were brought up on wobbly ‘materialistic’ ground which isn’t stable by nature.

This ‘materialism’ comes in various forms during our childhood and adulthood. It comes in the form of grades in school and in the form of economic status in the adult world.

A student with high marks is put on the pedestal while one who gets low grades or fails is ridiculed & shamed. There is just no space for empathy or compassion for one another. Shouldn’t it be the duty of the teachers in school to be intentional about inculcating a more inclusive culture and ask the children to help one another instead of ridiculing and causing pain?

But how can the teachers be any different; after all they are just part of the vicious circle and system that we have developed for ourselves.

If the focus in school is more on learning than scoring marks, it would change the invisible caste system created inside the classroom. I want to live to see the day when being a helpful & kind child earns those points.

Our ‘sense of identity’ is banking on very loose ground; hence exists the threat of it being taken away from us because life will show you various seasons, there is no guarantee that you will always be the top ranker in school or always be wealthy. Mishaps happen all the time and you might end up losing it all anytime.

Therefore, raising our consciousness should be intentional. From Oprah to Sadhguru, all they are trying to do through different modalities is raise consciousness. Because that is the only thing that differentiates us from the animal kingdom. We live in a world of abundant resources yet majority of the world is hungry and poor; that is a pure lack of consciousness.

If you wish to achieve something big/smart in life then try ‘grounding’ first, raising our consciousness is the first step to grounding ourselves. The key is to be open to learning instead of outsmarting one another.

The current system pressurizes everyone to ‘appear’ confident, as a result we have many who pretend to be confident and many more who are suffering from over-confidence. Marketing of course has a huge role to play; we are taught to buy shiny objects. It is more superficial, too much emphasis is given to superficial attributes than the real substance of a product or an individual.

As a result we have a barrage of people who just want to talk and none who will listen. In fact a good listener is often misunderstood as unsmart. Very few people are aware that listening = learning = growing. If you really want something good to come out of a personal or professional association then learn to listen. I promise you will slowly but surely uncover the magic it offers.

When I was a fresh graduate, I used to be extremely argumentative & considered it my strength; but time has taught me that ‘arguments’ don’t yield much because we aren’t willing to ‘listen’, all we do is ‘counter’ so our brain is hyperactive trying to come up with a smart response to the opposite party. What a sheer waste of time & intelligence! By the end of it you have lost so much energy but haven’t gained/learnt anything; raw deal!

How about asking questions in the quest to understand what the other person is saying? That would promote a healthy discussion by offering an opportunity to make valid points in a non-combative calm environment eventually leading to some take away = constructive use of time.

Somebody said ‘not knowing’ is a blind spot to which Sadhguru explained that ‘knowing it all’ is actually the blind spot. And it is true, when we think we know it all we stop growing but the moment we say we don’t know and start asking questions and develop the quest to keep learning irrespective of our age we continue growing and become better day by day till the day we are resting in peace.

So, please stop racing to be the smartest because nobody knows it all but if we learn to listen then together we will learn so much more. It will be a win-win for all.

I don’t think there is any denying that the world leaders are competing in a very primitive way instead of uniting and changing the planet for the better. If the intent of wiping out misery was there we wouldn’t have such disparity and the pandemic.

One way of bringing change is by starting a new culture of awarding accolades for being an ‘empathetic’ human being. It all begins at the root, so it will have to start at home where a baby is raised, progressing to the school and workplace. And when that happens, we will see good progress and growth of individuals, automatically leading to a healthier and mature society. Eventually, we won’t have individuals who feel so powerless within themselves that they feel the need to conquer the world with weapons to feel powerful.

Much Love,

Rashhmi Yadav

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  1. It is a very good article. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful collection of thoughts with us didi. Keep up your good work. Keenly looking forward to the next marvel.

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