Consider this. A man goes to a psychologist: “Doctor, you’ve got to help me. My boss wants to fire me. My wife wants to divorce me. My coworkers don’t reply to my emails. My kids won’t talk to me. I don’t understand. How can I be surrounded by such jerks?” When we find ourselves in troubled relationships, our first thought is, “This is not my fault.” We are victims of our circumstances. The man in my example can’t see that since he is in the middle of so many difficult situations, HE is the common denominator, and a big part of his own misery.
The distinction of knowers and learners refers to the attitude which we approach life. Here are a few characterizations of knowers and learners. Knowers are judgmental, hold grudges, create drama, and are inflexible. Learners own their opinions, strive for understanding, and are focused on being effective rather than right.
A word of caution. To call someone a victim or a knower is likely to be received as an insult. Do not use these distinctions as a weapon. They are helpful in increasing our awareness and ultimately, to improve our effectiveness and relationships.
The price of being blameless is being powerless. If we are not part of the problem, we cannot be part of the solution. As knowers we live in resentment believing we deserve better. To gain power, we must take responsibility. We need to change the story and accept our role as the main character of our lives. We have an opportunity to acknowledge that we are response-able in the face of our circumstances and not for our circumstances. Every situation is an opportunity to live our values, to be the person our kids or parents can be proud of. To be the person you can be proud of.