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One Dimensional Wisdom

Bench Racing

by Ryan King

One dimensional wisdom holds a great deal of danger.

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What makes one dimensional wisdom so dangerous is that it includes an ideal, and excludes everything else. It essentially exists in a vacuum.

Examples of one dimensional wisdom are as follows:

  • Hard work pays.
  • Only the strong survive.
  • Pain is weakness leaving the body.

There are, of course, many, many more examples of one dimensional wisdom, and even collections of one dimensional wisdom that often make up codes of ethics, or creeds, or systems of belief.

The problem with one dimensional wisdom is that there are so many more complexities that make up the situation that they attempt to address. Guess what, the strong aren't the only ones that survive, hard work doesn't necessarily pay and half ass work can. Pain most definitely isn't weakness leaving the body, but it is necessary to experience the proper kind of pain, utilizing the proper kinds of controls, in order to develop yourself.

The truth about one dimensional wisdom is that while it may help you cope with one, specific issue, due to its lack of nuance, it actually works to hold back your growth, because it creates a limited view of reality.

Pain, while it can signify a moment where you are pushing and expanding your limits, can also be a signal that you are doing yourself harm. You will always discover situations that are more powerful than you are. Regardless of how strong you are, you will lose in a situation that is more powerful than you are without the flexibility necessary to adapt to the situation. Hard work will only provide a payoff when applied appropriately to a goal.

When you work on your car, work hard, but direct it appropriately and don't over do it.

You will need to be strong to see long, arduous projects through to completion, but strength simply won't be sufficient when the situation requires a more flexible approach to achieve your ends.

Pushing yourself to become competent enough to achieve the goals of your hobby is going to require facing the pain that comes along with growth, but understanding the difference between the pain of growth and the pain of harm is a subtle and vitally important skill if you are actually going to achieve the growth you need.

Ultimately, wisdom is valuable, and the understanding of yourself and life that it encompasses is critical to success, however one dimensional wisdom is anything but wise.


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