Lesson in Humility From a 5-Year-Old

My five-year-old grandson was eating his favorite sandwich–peanut butter and Nutella–at our house Wednesday, so I sat down to keep him company.

As he was eating, he looked up at me and said, “Papaw, I know everything there is to know about space.”

I said, “Well, Knox, that is very impressive. What all do you know?” He proceeded to tell me how many planets there were, which ones were the largest and smallest, how the universe relates to our solar system, among other facts.

Of course I do not know enough about space to know if he was factual or not, but he related the information with such authority that I assume he was right.

When he finished and took another bite of his sandwich, I followed up with additional questions, just to keep the conversation going. (My family says questioning is one of my fortes.) One question I asked was, “Why is the moon different sizes during each month?”

He stopped eating and was silent for at least twenty seconds; I could see the wheels turning in his curious, bright, five-year-old brain. Finally he turned to me and said, “Well, Papaw, I guess I don’t know everything there is to know about space after all.”

I learned about humility from Knox. If only as adults we would be able to admit it when we don’t know everything; if only we’d have the wisdom to keep quiet on a subject; if only we would learn to say simply, “I don’t know.” Needless talk might diminish and we could search for real answers to our problems.

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