“Knowledge is only a rumor until it lives in the muscle.”

So say the Asaro tribe of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, and when I read it in Rising Strong, I nod my head in agreement. Because I can know a lot. But if I do not live it, what good is it to me?

Rising strong bwIt’s like when we force our children to “say you’re sorry” when they’ve hit a friend, or snitched the toy car from baby Jane in the sand box. We tell them to “Say you’re sorry.”, and they do. Not knowing why. Not understanding that a sorry doesn’t give you carte blanche to do the same thing again and again, in the days to come. As if a sorry would be enough, making it ok to keep on acting the same way, hitting a friend, snitching the car. It’s not. It’s an excuse, and if it’s a wholehearted excuse, a sorry that we truly feel, then attached to that is the unvoiced promise, that we will not act like that again. We won’t repeat the behavior that caused the apology in the first place, again, and again. At the very least, we vow to tro to be better, act better, grounding ourselves in values and a worldview on how to treat fellow human beings (and everything else on Earth).

If we do, keep it up, repeat it, over and over again – we’ve not understood anything.

And I claim, when we force kids to say sorry, we are making it into a rote behavior, rather than having them understand – with empathy and compassion – what just transpired and feel the sorrow within, the regret, the knowledge that what just happened was unwelcome, and an apology is one way forward.

“Knowledge is only a rumor until it lives in the muscle.”

Knowledge is of use, when it is used. When I make use of it, having it “live in my muscles”, becoming part of who I am, what I do, and why I do it. When I use it to help me be the better me, become the best me possible. And it’s great to have a repository of knowledge within, that I can use when it’s appropriate. I am n o t stating we should only learn that which we see a direct gain for, a reason for, when we plan an implicit action ahead. Oh no. Having a wealth of knowledge within, to utilize if and when I am faced with a new situation, is vital. Ensuring I have the resources when the time comes. But if I don’t use them, when it is time, that’s a missed opportunity. That’s when I should have practiced what I’ve learned, that’s how you walk your talk. Perhaps insecure, a total beginner, never having utilized the knowledge. And that’s fine. We all know it sometimes take a little bit (or a lot!) of practice to get good at something. But refraining from acting, on the basis that I’ve not done it before, don’t really know how to, unsure if I’ll do it good enough – that’s how knowledge remains a rumor. Don’t let it. Please. Make it live in your muscles, and I’ll be doing the same.

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 25 of 100. 
The book “Rising strong” by Brené Brown.
English posts here, Swedish at herothecoach.com.