People Take Time

As I think back to myself in high school, myself in college, it’s amazing to see how far I’ve come, how much I’ve changed. And I am so thankful that I had teachers and brilliant friends to prick my mind with questions, teach me, and help me dig my way through the mess of stuff–the systems, the formulas, the books, the practices, the traditions, the rich history, and the vision of what it ought to be. I’m thankful for the people who finally made me realize how much I do not yet understand, but also how much I do!

Growing up is difficult. It takes a boldness to walk away sometimes from things you’ve always known when you realize they are wrong. It requires a critical mind to ask questions and not be afraid of the answers. But more, it requires the integrity of putting new information into practice, because that’s where it belongs. And the greatest dishonesty is to learn but not apply.

Unfortunately, as we discover world-changing ideas (at least changing of our own particular understanding of how the world works), we can have a tendency to be too ambitious too soon. Cage stage, what-have-you. It’s always the people who shouldn’t talk that do, and the ones who ought to that are lost in the questions they’ve realized they still can’t answer. And it will probably always be that way.

I often wish I could shut people up. And I’m sure people have often wished they could shut me up. Because over time, what happens is this thing called maturity, and unfortunately our greatest¬†embarrassment¬†is when we see our old selves in another human being. We want more than anything to shut our old selves up. How little we knew. How naive we were.

But the reality is, we need people to make a ruckus. Yes, even the cage stagers. Because it is the ruckus-makers that keep people thinking, no matter how abrasive and annoying they might be. It’s also the ruckus-makers that inspire the calm, mature folks to come out of hiding and impart wisdom they might otherwise keep to themselves. It’s the ruckus-makers that awaken a sense of duty in those who ought to be doing the talking, who know better. It’s a vicious cycle of pride, first the pride of knowing to much, followed by the pride of knowing too little.

The beautiful thing about it all is that people can change. People do grow up. And as much as we might want to write someone off for yapping too much when they should be silent, we need to exercise the same patience others once exercised with us. And instead of writing people off for their ignorance, we need to step in and mentor them where we’re able. To be patient as they play catch-up. And to be gracious when they don’t get it quite right. Because, let’s face it. None of us do ever get it quite right.

So, next time you’re tempted to write someone off because they don’t quite get it yet, think back to all the people you’ve been. Think back to all the stages of your intellectual growth. Think back to all the roadblocks and the people who helped you along the way. And be patient. People take time.

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Beka Johnson
Beka Johnson

Beka is the Director of Inbound Marketing for a fintech company in the Seattle area. She loves dabbling, reading, scheming, writing, and dreaming up ways to make good things better. When she’s not working, you can find her digging up all sorts of adventures in her new city.

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