Learn, Think, Speak

19 Jul 2012

Philip Hofstetter:

Until you know all the facts, until you were there, on the ladder holding a hose trying to extinguish the flames, until then, you don’t have the right to assume that you’d do better.

The world we live in is incredibly complicated.

We live in a culture of criticism wherein we feel entitled to speak on any topic that strikes our fancy. This is a right that we believe inherent to our democracy. Opinion overrides education; an emotional plea trumps an informed one; many loud voices drown out one that is knowledgable.

I do not pretend to be innocent of this, but I do my best to speak with authority only on the topics that I am an authority on. This is not to say that it is impossible to become an expert from the comfort of your armchair, just that we should acknowledge that the world is complicated and one can never be too informed. Learn, think, and speak. But do so in that order.