I believe that experience is the best teacher and so I often credit to those who can definitely educate me more in a certain area. In the same token, it annoys me when some claim to know things that you can tell they have no clue about or simply claim to know it all.
I feel that those people are actually the failures and they feel like if they are loud about how much they know some of their audience (usually those who lack little or no knowledge in that topic) will praise them on how highly intelligent they seem.
Overall I feel like being open to learning from anyone young or old or to whatever caliber of life etc i think have made me more knowledgeable in many areas. And I still don't come close to having all of the answers.
I also feel that it takes humility to credit knowledge and respect where it is deserved. But I take it all in and make sense of it first before accepting and tesching someone else ...ie not all information is true and just because it has been around for many years doesn't make it true. It makes it more like a myth. :)
Knowledge have to make sense to me for me to embrace it. For example, My sister and I were laughing about some of the things she has heard lately. My sister is a new mom (yay! To big sis and it suits her well), my niece was born on April fools day and what a blessing and congrats to my family and my in-laws.
So (back to my sisters chat) some of these 'things' I have heard before but now having someone to share them with creates for some good laughs. So my sister was going to help me plait my hair so that I can try on my wig and my mom told her she couldn't because my hair would fall out. Interesting right?... so we asked do you mean mine or the one who just offloaded the baby. But my mom and grandma echoed no it is the one whose hair is been braided by the new mom.
My sister and I joked about what scientific evidence/ grade level...is it level A, B, C .... lol I recalled how I was not allowed to eat certain foods and how only soups and yams were most important or bread and tea. I never heard of pregnancy foods until after my first daughter. I was also informed that everything that I learned from the lactation nurse was a lie and reminded that my grandma had raised 13 children. Jokes aside I credit her for that 13 children by the way because it is not easy raising all those children...mothers go through a lot and My grandmother together with my late grandmother embodies the strength and hardwork which are the biggest characteristics the women in my family carry and she was and still is a great mother. But God bless her heart I am educated and find that some of her beliefs are very old and does not work for me. I actually listened to the lactation nurse and my own research to my grandma's surprise baby girl never used formula...she breastfed till about 14 months.
I recalled her telling me that my daughter is scared because I did not let her throw her up in the air while giving her baths as an infant. I told her grandma it is called the Moro reflex and is normal in an infant. She hissed and told me the white men always had to have an answer for everything (isnt that the quest for knowledge?) And in fact throwing them in the air is actually frowned upon so as to avoid blood shed in the brain. My grandma also wanted lots of wrappers in my daughter's crib to keep baby cozy but she felt frustrated to hear me say it is also frowned upon to avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It was hard for me to disregard the things that i have learned when some have been associated with harm to the infant and it was hard for her to disregard those things she had proven from raising 13 children. So what did i do watch with one eye open and undo everything she did and pulled out the yellow and red card that said i am the mama please and i am unsomfortable with this one.
However, It was easier for my mom because she was open to learn the new ways ...my mom said back then they just passed it down and no one asked questions because simply what do you know. She tells me that it makes sense to her but she can understand how someone as old as my grandmother would simply find me annoying. I also understand that and would often allow things that I know isn't harmful so that my children can experience the culture. It is interesting though however and some of the things you can't help but laugh. What cultural practices did you hear about?