[QOTD] Acknowledgement over Understanding

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I’ve been so inconsistent in blogging that I’m so worried that I might actually stop one day ><

But oh wells, I’m glad to drag myself back for yet another ‘random’ musings post. Just a couple days ago, I happen to stumble upon this quote which left me thinking (for a really long while) and I haven’t actually came to any conclusion yet so I guess this could be a place where I can kind of ‘unpack’ the quote. As you can tell, it is in the title “Acknowledgement over Understanding”. It might sound a little awkward as I think it was translated from Korean and I can’t seem to find the words to rephrase it yet.

So.. the context was that someone said this quote was something that he hope to remember and practice and wow it is quite exotic so I actually gave it a deeper thought as to how two words can bring inspiration to someone’s life. I’m sure there can be many ways of interpretation but I’m just sharing what comes to my mind.

Let’s begin with some definitions of the two words:

Acknowledgement – acceptance of the truth or existence of something; recognition of the importance or quality of something.

Understanding – the ability to understand something; comprehension. sympathetic awareness or tolerance. sympathetically aware of other people’s feelings; tolerant and forgiving.

At first thought, I was really confused as to how ‘acknowledgement’ can be more important than ‘understanding’. Our whole lives, we have been told to study and understand the various subjects that we have to learn. Teachers always ask us ‘Do you understand?’ and somehow ‘understanding’ is always a key factor in acquiring knowledge and it has some significance in our life while we are growing up. On the other hand, ‘acknowledgement’ is not exactly a common term that we are exposed to. More commonly, we often see the term ‘acknowledge’ when we are reading Terms & Conditions and it somewhat feels like a word that doesn’t have much use when you are looking at it superficially but as I think deeper about it,. I slowly realise that ‘acknowledgement’ comes with many layers and it is in fact a very weighted word, which is why we don’t use it very often.

Sometimes in life, we might be placed in very ridiculous situations where there isn’t a valid explanation for the things that happen and instead of questioning the ‘whys’, maybe it would perhaps be better to accept the situation/existence of something. As we grow older and perhaps get a little more mature, we will learn to realise that there isn’t an answer to everything in the world and even if there’s a ‘right’ answer, there’s no way we can ensure that you or the people around you will always select the ‘right’ answer. There may be a situation whereby you are stuck in the ‘wrong’ choice and you somehow have to navigate your way out of it. Rather than spending time to question or understand why you had been in this ‘wrong’ situation, it might be wiser to accept and acknowledge that yes, you have somehow been that unfortunate one to be ‘wronged’ but it is up to you and your own mental state to ‘acknowledge’ and move on and not be stuck in a rut.

When dealing with the people around you, I often find myself questioning the (somewhat dumb) decisions that my friends make and very often, my inner self would lash out some form of preaching, teaching, explaining, breaking down the situation and trying to figure out which part went wrong and the list goes on but.. sometimes, what the other party wants to hear from you are not solutions. All they want is just a listening ear, an outlet for them to share their frustrations. I am always guilty of being a bad listener because I try to inject rationality into every decision I make which yes could be a wise option but it can make me appear to be cold and having a huge lack of empathy and warmth. So let’s take a step back and choose ‘acknowledgement over understanding’, the mood might be of a lighter note. Rather than trying to ‘figure out what went wrong’ with that dumb decision your friend made, could it be better if you say something like ‘ahh, yes. that was a dumb decision of yours but you know what? We got to move on and accept that the knots can no longer be undone. Let’s work together and figure out the next steps.’

Not sure if you are finding the ‘ah-ha’ moment in this but it took me a while and I did get it.

The stresses in life always force us to be quick, be right, be efficient but the goals of ‘everyone’ shouldn’t be the goals of ‘yourself’. My younger self loves to travel and had this ‘dream’ of conquering as many countries in the world as possible. I dislike repeating countries/cities that I’ve already visited and I thought that having a tiring ‘touch and go’ travel was alright. Not sure when the change in mindset happen but right now I came to a conclusion that ‘visiting all the countries’ in the world was not my dream after all. My ideal vacation right now is spending time catching up with friends that live abroad and discussing about the random musings of their lives and sometimes comparing the differences between countries. There are days when I step back and think about the ‘dreams’ and ‘aspirations’ I have.. do they belong to me or do they belong to the version that society expects of me?

Do try to keep some thought into this choice of ‘acknowledgement over understanding’. It could help you in certain situations in life.

^Cheers

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