We are all spirits and personalities having an experience in this human body. With our physical and intellectual limitations, we are all trying to figure out the best path forward given the number of decision-making factors we have in front of us daily. With grace, and this knowledge, we should lead because all of our decisions are purely the best guess for what we think the ‘right’ thing would be to do for that moment. An outstanding model that keeps our humanity in check is the model of knowledge illustrated by concentric circles.
Imagine there are three circles. The innermost small circle represents the amount of knowledge we have about all things in the world. That circle can feel big or small depending on how you feel about your level of exposure, education, and research.
The next largest medium-sized circle represents the knowledge that all human beings have. My small circle fits very small into this medium-sized circle, because human beings know a lot of stuff! When we look at our individual circle compared to this bigger circle, we see that we actually may not know a ton about the world. It’s still important to acknowledge what we know and to acknowledge that we know we don’t know a ton!
Finally, we get the largest outside circle around both the medium and smaller circles. This circle represents the total universe of knowledge, by which most of us do not have access to. We thrive to expand the medium circle so we can access more knowledge about things in the world – but we’ll never know everything.
To be human means to humble ourselves to know that our knowledge is basically our best guess considering current times, access, and circumstances. As we conduct our evaluation of fairness, justice, and equity, we realize we can share our knowledge and gain knowledge from anyone sitting across the table from us. In fact, everyone next to us right now knows something more than we do about something.
Start your work from this lens. We all have value and we all belong in this big ole circle of life. And, when we give value to those around us for what they know and their potential to learn, we make just decisions that stop us from reaffirming traditional social hierarchies.