It's so easy, when doing the least bit of research, to start to feel ignorant and naive. So many people have written so many interesting and informative things. I know that when I go out on the web looking for random tidbits, I often find things that make me feel as if I were an unread, ignorant bumpkin. This is, of course, not exactly true.
Now I may never have been the scholar that some of my friends and acquaintances were, but I have done a little reading in my time. And at the same time, I know that what I don't know is endless.
In the end, the battle is to use what I know to move forward, and to strive to know more, so that I can do better in the future. I am, I suppose, rewinding to the topics of writing rather than researching, of avoiding perfectionism, and of focusing on strengths, all of which I have touched on in previous posts.
From one perspective, we will always be ignorant. We need to be able to work with incomplete, and even inconsistent sets of ideas. Perfect resolution is outside our grasp; complete knowledge is outside our grasp. This is not a paean to ignorance, or an argument that lets us slip back into the sofa a little more deeply to watch this week's American Idol and all the rest of the regularly scheduled programming. Of course we want to continually strive to learn more, to read new books, to hear new ideas.
Balance is important in all things. There are those among us who need to be encouraged to research more and talk less--any perusal of the myriad postings by the mass of internet users shows that there are plenty with little education and less restraint. I suppose if such folks are reading this blog, then I ought to be writing something else.
But there's another whole population out there--those who won't write, those who are afraid that their voice will be rejected. And for such people, the endless research must be balanced with a willingness to to be uncertain and yet to try to express their voice.