18 year old Evan would have known the answer to all of life’s questions. 18 year old Evan thought that there wasn’t things that would leave me in wonder. Honestly, 18 year old Evan was a punk.
The older I keep getting and the more I learn, I realize that I really don’t know much about anything. This doesn’t mean that my college education was worthless, in fact, it has been worth a lot. It’s made me realize that the things in which I think l know much about—I really don’t know NEARLY as much as I think I do. This has been really great in many ways.
The first way that this has been great is being able to talk to people about differences of opinion. 18 year old me would have argued with someone until I was blue in the face, but now I realize that the only way I can solidify my opinion on an issue is by learning the other side, and being better informed on issues. And honestly, arguing and yelling never got any learning done—it just furthers stupidity and demonization of people that we disagree with.
The second way realizing I don’t know nearly as much as I think I do is humility. It can be really easy to be a prideful jerk when you think you know everything, that you’re a big deal, and that people know you…until you start talking to anyone smarter than you, and feel like an idiot who regrets his (or her) decision to think you know it all, because trust me, you don’t and never will. (And trust me, regardless of how smart you think you are, someone else in this world is smarter.)
Lastly, realizing how little I know has increased my analytical thinking. This means that I can better work through problems, see holes in my arguments on issues (whether they be theological, political, or even about the kind of music I like), and work better with others that disagree with me.
So don’t be like 18 year old me. 18 year old Evan thought he was a hot stack of Pringles, and that he knew more than nearly everyone about everything. Overall, if I could talk to 18-year-old me, I’d tell myself “I don’t know everything, I never will, and to cool it on the pride, ya dingus.”