How can I ask if I didn’t know?

How can I ask if I didn’t know?


Recently, hubby and I had a heated “discussion” about my belief that I had to physically drive to the bank to pay the truck payment. My belief goes back almost 20 years.

In 1998 my mother co-signed a loan to purchase a new car for me. When we left the bank, the loan agent told me, “Each month just bring in your payment and the loan book. We will tear out a receipt for each payment.” After that I just always took my payment book to the bank.

As our “discussion” wound down, my husband said, “If you don’t know something, just ask.”

How was I supposed to ask, if I didn’t know that I didn’t know it????

This is a tremendous lesson for all of us as friends, parents, co-workers, and teachers. Sometimes common sense isn’t always common. The things we expect everyone to know aren’t always known. We need to love and teach one another with understanding and compassion, but most of all we MUST respect that everyone has had different experiences and learns in diverse ways.

Frequently, when a student asks me how to spell a word, I respond with “d-i-c-t-i-o-n-a-r-y.” In some instances this is the right answer because they just need to move past their laziness, but in other cases (when the word is really hard or the student has language troubles), I at least give them the first letters of the word. They still need to use a d-i-c-t-i-o-n-a-r-y, but I also need to guide them in the right direction.

The hardest part about discovering your ignorance on a subject is your wounded pride. I was pretty snippy to my husband for a day or two. Our “discussion” left me feeling hurt and embarrassed. Once he apologized for losing his cool and I apologized for lashing out at him, we both felt better and I now know you don’t have to have special training or permission to tear one of those receipt pages from a car payment book.

We are all lifelong learners and that makes us lifelong teachers as well. Learn and teach with grace. It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers or  all the questions.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. On the note of learning and growing, I am working to improve Intentergy. It has been over a year since I began publishing my blog and I am so proud of how it has developed. Please take time to complete this 5 question survey about Your feedback would be greatly appreciated and will provide a learning opportunity for me.
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