I have always been the type of person to help people. If my grandmother dropped something, I would be there to pick it up. If I saw someone walking with a cane, I would stop what I was doing to open the door for them. If my great aunt needed help around the house, I would volunteer. As I got older, I found that I could help people with my knowledge instead of using the physical approach. Since that day, I have been sharing knowledge with the world!!! I honestly felt like it was my duty to share.
As an older woman, I understand that sharing knowledge is a choice and an opportunity that should only be afforded to those who are worthy. When I use the word “worthy,” I am talking about the individual who wants to learn and is open to receiving the information. I am the type of person that listens well enough to identify the issue, uses a strategic approach when searching for the solution, and thinks through every possible pro and con before providing an answer. If I don’t know the answer, I will profess it, listen thoroughly, research, observe, discuss, ask questions, and research again. I avoid giving an opinion. It is just how I was built! Let’s get something straight, the answer is different from an opinion. Please use the examples below to help you understand exactly what I am talking about.
1) What is 1+1? Answer: 2
2) What is 1+1? Opinion: I believe that 1+1 could be 2 or 11.
These are very simple examples that can be applied to any situation.
In the first example, the question and answer are very simple. This is reflective of most issues that we deal with in life. The questions are simple and the answer is just as simple, yet people with the answer are usually ignored. Most people think that the answer has to come from a certain type of individual (i.e., man, elderly, scholar, etc.) to be correct. Often people complicate their lives by ignoring the person that has been placed in their life to help them swiftly resolve the issue. I am usually the person that is ignored; therefore, I fall into this category. I cannot help that I am not a man or that I am not older, but does that truly mean that I do not have the answer. I have not been to 25 different institutions, but does that really mean that I do not have the answer. I didn’t make the traffic light, but does that mean that I don’t know that red means stop? Some people have the weirdest mindset when it comes to the answer.
In the second example, the question is simple, but the response is complicated. Most people may say, “It’s a cool response and it makes sense.” No! It is not the answer. It is an opinion that is given to distract the person, asking the question, and cloud their thought process. The funny thing about these people is that once you’re distracted, they throw in a little negativity to throw off your day. This decreases your self-esteem to increase your confidence in what they have to say. Then they add a spec. of “hope” to make you think they are brilliant. This discussion could go on for hours and end without ever receiving an answer. Oddly, these are the people who are cherished, embraced, and believed.
I have learned to just shut-up. At times, it may seem rude or appear as if I am neglecting a situation, but it is necessary to keep my sanity. After all, why should I worry about how I appear to a person that doesn’t value my thought process? It is hard fighting the people that you want to help, to help themselves. After a while, you will notice that you are the one that always leaves the fight with a black eye. Shutting up does not mean that I am a quitter, but that I am wise enough to know when to walk away.
Remember, invest in those who are worthy. Don’t define the person by wealth, education, past experiences, or beauty. They just have to be “an individual who wants to learn and is open to receiving the information.”