That Sinking Feeling and Flying Reindeer

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My best friend, and excellent source for all things newsworthy, asked me, "Did you hear about all the people on Twitter who didn't know the Titanic was real?"

I hadn't. If you can handle a rant about how people are imbeciles, swing by the Gizmodo article. Otherwise, I'll summarize: At least 12 people recently discovered that the Titanic isn't just a movie.


But even while I smile, smug in my superior grasp of the situation, I have a sinking feeling. Because, not nearly enough years ago, I didn't know reindeer were real.

Don't freak out. It was more than a decade ago. But I distinctly remember when that bit of information finally sunk in. I felt much the same then as I did when I found another gaping hole in my education. I simply hadn't considered reindeer because, in my experience, they flew... meaning, they weren't real. I hadn't seen a reindeer. I hadn't heard a credible story involving reindeer. And so I was ignorant until I encountered a story of someone who dealt with reindeer on a regular basis.

So, I'll say it again: The stuff you know is important, to be sure, but the ability to learn is ever so much more essential.

Will your children have gaps in their education? Yes. Absolutely. And that's okay.

It's tempting, when we hear that people are ignorant of basic knowledge, to decry our educational system, bemoan the youth of today, give up hope for humanity, and a great many other dramatic things. But, really, this should:

  1. Inspire us to learn more by reminding us that we, too, were once ignorant.
  2. Encourage us in our homeschooling journey as there is always more to learn--even if "everyone else" knew it before us.
  3. Give us humility in the realization that a personal encounter is often needed to make something real.

And, sure, this also adds one more log to the fire of "first remove the plank from your eye" when people suggest homeschoolers need more oversight.

What do you think of people not knowing basic facts everyone "should know"?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

P.S. Not on topic, per se, but I really like this idea of things not being real until you encounter them. Reminds me of people who hear about Jesus, but it doesn't matter until they encounter Him.

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