I live in a world (I’m a teacher by trade) where people don’t like making mistakes and even more than not liking making them, they loathe admitting them when they do. This attitude according to Tim Hartford in the above TED Talk, puts an end to any real learning. Hartford warns us that only when schools, politicians, and doctors stop acting like they have all the answers, will we begin to learn.
Hartford demonstrates how a group of doctors, the great scientists of our day, aren’t anymore comfortable with making mistakes or admitting that they are not sure of an answer to a question, than teachers or I suspect the rest of humankind. There are exceptions to this attitude. I am reminded of Pope Francis’ response to a question regarding homosexual priests. He responded: “Who am I to judge?” He’s not alone in this earth-shaking statement. Not too long ago, a favorite priest preacher of mine gave the homily at Sunday Mass. He quoted Saint Pope John XXIII as saying pretty much the same thing in his advice on how to be a good pastor or in my case a good teacher.