Thinking about how, when I am out and about in the streets, I would see children staring at me. Staring at my head specifically. I can tell they are staring at my Cochlear Implant processor. And they would stare and stare at me. Some would come up to me and point at my head asking “What is that?” They are usually not afraid to ask.
Sometimes their parents would be there trying to caution them. Telling them not to point at a stranger or to my mind their business. Of course, I always oblige them. I always tell them the same thing.
“This is a Cochlear Implant. You know how glasses help people see? Well, a Cochlear Implant helps me hear.”
And just like that, they understand. I am always eager to explain what a Cochlear Implant does in deeper detail.
I guess, what is fascinating to me is how children are not afraid to learn. They are sponges. They don’t make assumptions about how much they know. While they are young they accept that they have inferior knowledge, and as a result are able to take in as much information as possible, shamelessly.
As we grow older, we lose that. Our ego takes its place. Dunning-Kruger takes its place. We overestimate our own knowledge and sometimes we just get ashamed to admit that we don’t know something. And I’ve met people who definitely don’t know what I have on my head, but confidently assume it’s some sort of earpiece. Why not just ask? It’s hilarious every time.
The goal should be to cultivate enough self-awareness to catch ourselves when we act like a know-it-all. To mimic children’s curiosity, in that way, we open ourselves to learning more than we would do, otherwise.