Lesson Two – I know nothing
Now let me tell you, I know where to grab the best espresso in Edinburgh, I’ll take you to the best tapas in Girona, and I’ll tell you of the best pasta in Trieste (food is life) – but to be frank, that is far from what defines the well informed.
“To know, is to know nothing, that is the meaning of true knowledge.”
I’m sure you may have read this quote online before, or have heard it come from the mouth of one of your grandparents, like I did – ole’ wise ones they are! Every time I heard this saying growing up, it never stuck. Until not so long ago when I realised that I’m learning a great deal every day, though every new piece of knowledge coming my way turned the key to an entire new world. It’s without a doubt that this year has shown me that every single person I meet views the world through different eyes – you can learn a lot from those who see the world differently.
I understand a lot about where I’m from, though the world is much more complex than knowing an education that teaches us how to read and write.
I recently spent some time in Bosnia and Herzegovina – and will be returning next month, because oh my lordy the depth and diversity of their culture has lured me back in like a fish on a hook. But that’s beside the point.
As much to my discontent at the fact that my Western education somehow managed to disregard any acknowledgement, let alone any insight into the history of the Balkans, I landed in Sarajevo with literally no knowledge of what I was walking into. Other than knowing that a couple of my friend’s families had fled to Australia in the early 90s due to political unrest where they called home.
I quickly learned how little I did know, as I walked the streets of the old town, gazing at the intricate pieces in the bazaar, and before long, spotting bullet holes in the walls throughout the city. After many lessons from talk with the locals, I was baffled at this new insight, knowing that as I was a happy baby in a safe home in my little corner of the world, others were getting dragged out of theirs. This opened an entire new book to me (or should I say series), and the more I read about what happened in this country, the more I realise I know nothing at all.
World travel has hit me with this epiphany, though I won’t lie, I’m curious to the bone and thus, my nomadic nature has kept me well fed. It was ignorant of me to previously believe that I was well educated by means of a year 12 certificate and University. For I’ve figured, that those who know more are those who have ventured beyond their borders, acknowledging how sheltered an education restricted to the boundaries of your own upbringing really is.
This is one of the most noteworthy lessons I’ve learnt this year…
I didn’t think I knew it all, but I definitely thought I knew a lot, when in fact I knew nothing at all.
– Haylee x