Information V Knowledge

I have thought for some time that information is overrated. You often hear that information has been passed on; ‘I told you about that’, ‘we posted leaflets about that’, ‘we gave you a flyer about it’ and so on. Yet information is irrelevant unless it comes with understanding. It is understanding that transforms information into knowledge. 

I’m on week 2 of the pain management course. I can’t say that I’m enjoying it, but I am finding it satisfying. It doesn’t feel like I am receiving a great deal of new information, but I am finding that I am filling gaps in my knowledge. Most importantly however, I feel the immersion in the information I am being given is ensuring that understanding follows, and that there is enough space in terms of time and emotion to use that knowledge to break patterns of behaviour. 

I recognise that I have been given some of this information before and found it interesting. i also recognise that beyond finding it interesting I haven’t done anything with it. The course is not about cramming us full of interesting facts. It’s about making sure that we use that to change how we react and how we prepare. It is in rewriting my habits that I feel the course will be most beneficial. The information handouts are just an added bonus. 

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Back, back, forth and forth

I’m on the pain management programme this month. I am hoping this will give me tools and techniques to cope better with the pain that I still have. 

I had a flare up a few weeks ago, which ended with me sobbing in a Bed and Breakfast, because I couldn’t dance at a wedding I was at. Every time I have a flare up it feels so demoralising. When it ruins an event I have been planning and looking forward to it feels cruel.

I have completed 2 full days of the pain management course. We’ve talked about the difference between acute pain and chronic pain, why chronic pain occurs, the difference between hurt and harm, talked about the impact and psychology of pain, the pacing of life to cope better with good and bad days.

Objectively, a lot of the information is fascinating.

Subjectively, I’m hoping it’ll help me build my resilience to the pain; emotionally and physically.  

What Does Failure Look Like?

This morning I took my 2 year old for her 2 year check up with the health visitors. Another mum and I waited in a little playroom with our children for the appointments. One of the health visitors came through to call us up and she looked at our children and said cheerfully “Oh they both look lovely. I can’t imagine they’ll fail at anything today.”

I felt a bit startled.

Having filled in the questionnaire of what my child can do in terms of mobility, coordination, communication etc I knew what kinds of questions and activities would be asked and presented: Threading beads onto a shoelace, drawing a line on a piece of paper, stacking wooden blocks on top of each other, talking…

The idea that not being able to do these things, or getting round to things a little slower might be seen as a failure seems strange to me.

I believe we don’t allow our children enough space to experience or test out failure in their discoveries or development. Teachers being paid by results and schools measured on league tables, leave no room for exploration or even room for young people to develop their own sense of drive or ambition. But I don’t believe that children who develop slower, or children who don’t wish to perform in front of 2 strangers can be called failures.