Posts tagged ‘know’

August 30, 2017

a king who knows his ken

We no longer respect the idea that some things are “beyond our ken.” We don’t treat knowledge as a serious responsibility, to be given and received slowly and with clear purpose. We no longer think of education as a cultivation of our desires or our capacity for wonder. Instead, education is the amassing of information or the mastery of skills that have no immediate connection to our personal responsibilities or our actual life experiences.

To be healthy, knowledge should always be directly connected to our actual relationships, abilities, and responsibilities. Knowledge in isolation (or for its own sake), leads to apathy, arrogance, and abuses of power. “Stand alone” knowledge is corrosive to the soul. Knowledge is power, and we must have real responsibilities and learn true respect before we wield this power.

It is no coincidence that these English words all share the same Anglo Saxon roots: can, kin, king, ken, and know. If we do not make sure that these words all stay closely related within our own lives, we just end up with young adults who think that they “ken” everything but who “can” do almost nothing of true value for their “kin.” In this condition, we don’t truly “know” anything or enjoy the blessed protection of any wise “kings.” But these days, who wants a king who knows his ken? Yet we are each called to be such a king, following the one who makes us his kin and who taught us to pray “not my will but yours be done.”

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July 12, 2015

a significant difference between knowing and believing

There is always a significant difference between knowing and believing. We may know that the earth turns, but we believe, as we say, that the sun rises.

Our Only World by Wendell Berry (4).

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July 12, 2015

it is hard to remember what really matters

I’m trying to tell you things I might never have told you if I had brought you up myself, father and son, in the usual companionable way. When things are taking their ordinary course, it is hard to remember what really matters. There are so many things you would never think to tell anyone. And I believe they may be the things that mean the most to you, and that even your own child would have to know in order to know you well at all.

From Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (102).

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