Presumed Knowledge

31 Jul

I suddenly realised the day before yesterday (not that I’m precise or anything) that all my adult life, since I ‘got my education’ I’ve been presuming that everybody knows what I know, or would at least have heard (come on, at least have heard) of the authors that I have read; or (come on) be at least a teeny-weeny bit aware of  what interests me. This cropped up in relation to fiction, but it struck me this presumption can stretch its knurled hand into other areas as well. What is it in us (or more precisely in me) that makes us/me think that just because we/I know something another person should too? There just is that presumption that someone else (particularly if their in your circle) should do too. And when they don’t it hits you hard. What? You haven’t even heard of XXX? It feels like a big surprise. (There’s absolutely nothing wrong with not knowing because you probably know loads more about X, Y and Z; and not knowing is always a brilliant opportunity to learn, to draw wisdom up like green juice through a red straw).  No reflection on the other person but on me. What is it about presumption and me? Does it mean that I’m not quite as open as I actually think I am? That somewhere lurking in my depths are prejudices that filter through into something as light and fluffy as  coffee-table chatter? Are my prejudices so trite? It’s ok to have heavy-duty prejudices rooted in long distant but ever-present issues that crop up when you’re triggered or having to deal with the ‘big stuff’, but it’s coming up now over a silly chitty-chat over literature?  What is that all about? Come on!

All of the above is something for me to ponder over for a while; and, reading it back I am being a bit harsh on myself. In my heart I do know I am an open person who doesn’t quite presume as much as I’m presuming I presume (did you follow that?… I’m presuming you did :)).  But this issue just struck me like an unexpected knock on the door: ‘oh, who’s this’, what’s the nature of this presumption, where’s its root? So I shall ponder on this for a while,  only for a while, and then enjoy watching the presumption and what could be attached to it drift off like flotsam in the wind. Letting it gently go………………….

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