Assimilating the Knowledge of Others

wormonhookDo you remember when you were taught how to bait a hook with a worm? Who taught you? Was it someone older? Someone you respected? How did you react?  Take a moment to think. If they told you the worm doesn’t feel the pain, did you assimilate that belief, even though the worm seemed to be squirming in anguish? Wait! Before you google worms and pain, take this opportunity to learn something about yourself.

My gut told me this was a bad thing to do. My eyes told me the worm was suffering. My dad told me, “don’t worry, he can’t feel a thing.” I decided to believe my dad. Why? I loved him. I wanted his respect. I had to fight my brothers for his attention. I wanted desperately to believe he was right, so I cringed and speared the worm.

As we grow and learn, we assimilate beliefs and biases of those we respect. In this situation, I am talking about a worm. However, my dad also shared his beliefs about different religions, about women, about cultures, and I soaked it all up, even if it meant I was internalizing negative stereotypes about myself. Eventually, I had to learn about the worm, and about all the rest. Will you be the person who judges me harshly because I believed my dad? Before you do, ask yourself what you were told when you first learned to bait a worm.



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