November 24, 2023
Miles Kingston, in a quote made famous by Irish rugby player Brian O’Driscoll, once said, “Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.” This clever and concise differentiation between knowledge and wisdom is most helpful, especially in the space of education.
We, as educators, are fervent pursuers of knowledge. We have read all the books, seen the TED talks, and listened to the podcasts. We have pages of notes and even more pages of ideas. We have attended the conferences and dutifully filled multiple journals. We have, in other words, all the knowledge. Perhaps even too much knowledge. And this can be detrimental to our growth because it can lead to the inability to admit we need help.
Such was the situation I was in without knowing it. Being someone who prides himself on “relentless growth,” I was in pursuit of knowledge solely for the sake of growth. Reading fifty-two books a year, chasing certifications, enrolling in online classes: growth, growth, growth. And yet, this kind of growth, while vibrant and active, is best compared to a garden overrun with weeds.
Lest you think that analogy…