“The more you are willing to examine your own assumptions and beliefs—and holds the possibility that you may be wrong—the more you can truly understand” (from The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling)
Being a naturalist basically means being on a quest for knowledge (and having fun while at it!). There is such wonder in observing and possibly understanding a bit more about what’s going on around us.
Gaining knowledge also comes with challenging our own assumptions and beliefs. A true naturalist then tries to remain humble because s/he knows that a lot of her knowledge is definitely incomplete, and most likely wrong.
That’s not an ordeal, but rather a gift. A naturalist never ceases to be surprised. That feeling of surprise keeps us alert. It is essentially our mind telling us that we were likely wrong about something. Indeed a surprise is a reaction to something that we thought would be different (either intuitively or as the result of some prior knowledge).
Next time you are surprised, don’t flick that surprise away but take it as an opportunity to learn from it, refine your thinking process and maybe identify some of your own biases. Then share ‘about’ it.
Contrary to the average attitude, changing our mind in the face of solid and even provisional (scientific) evidence is a strength–and not a weakness. It is courageous, it shows a true ethical mind as it demonstrates honesty and integrity.
Record it. Make a special entry for that surprise in your journal if you have one. Over time, you might find a pattern and most certainly you will acquire a sense of humility along the way. Humility is critical: It is the root of any genuine knowledge inquiry.
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March 14th 2018 | by Claire O’Neill
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