What’s So Opaque About It?

What’s understood, needs no explanation, right? Wrong!! Sometimes you can have the wrong understanding of something and it can cause all kinds of problems. You can think you have a crystal clear understanding of everything, only to find out you’ve been in the dark about shyt the whole time. That the whole situation has an opaqueness about it. It’s difficult to understand or try to explain…not even the people involved have an agreed understanding of what’s going on. Who, or what, defines understanding? Is it you? Is it the other people involved? Subjective? Objective?

You take tests to test your knowledge or understanding. So, if you make 100 on it, then you clearly understand, right? Not necessarily. Did the test, test for everything it could have to test your knowledge of a subject? Did it ask the question in several different ways to make sure you understood; that you’d give the same answer? Probably not. What happens if you score a 90 on the test? Do you still understand the subject matter? Or could you benefit from a little more explaining? Or was the test just easy? Not that you understood the subject matter, but that the right answer was thrown in with a bunch of ridiculous options to make it easy to choose?

So, how do we evaluate our understanding of an opaque situation?  Is it by sitting down with all involved parties and talking about what each party understands to be true? Sit down. Hash it out. Come to an agreed upon understanding. Now, it’s not so opaque anymore. Right? Wrong!! Not every one involved has the same understanding. Not all what ifs have been thought through. Not all questions have been answered. It’s not possible.

It’s inevitable that at least one involved party will not have a clear understanding of the situation. And probably never will. Oh, but they will say that they understand. And, will even give it back to you verbatim to “prove” that they understand. But, they have absolutely no clue. When put to the test, they will fail every single time. And, then, the “but I thoughts” will start.

So, back to my question. Who, or what, defines understanding? How do you know that you understand an opaque situation? Your level of understanding is defined by whomever is giving the test. The other party involved.

Opaque

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