Two Science Terms That Will Help You Change the World


Good morning friends!

Today, I write to you from a hotel somewhere in Silicon Valley. I’m here for a number of reasons, all work-related. These weeks are always stretching, as it requires long hours, (seemingly) 24/7 networking and communicating with other scientists, and little sleep. Somehow, despite my normal need for 8-9 hours-or-I’m-crabby, I always look forward to these weeks of learning what the rest of the scientific community is doing and how we can work together to solve problems facing our world today.

One thing that I have been thinking about over the last week that has come up both in spiritual meditations and in presentations I attended yesterday is this: the lack of education from one person to another. I can’t speak to the world as a whole, but in my personal experience, it seems as though we are all living in our own autonomous bubbles, going throughout our days checking off our “to-do” items, learning more, doing more, being more productive, furthering our careers, but… are we helping others to learn what we are learning? Are we sharing the nuggets of knowledge or wisdom we have come by?

Inside my autonomous bubble, everything makes sense. I should say, everything makes sense to me. But place me inside someone else’s bubble, and I feel like a fish out of water. Sometimes, it feels as though the people around me are speaking in a language I don’t understand. Do you ever feel that way?

Maybe a doctor is trying to explain your diagnosis, and you simply don’t get it. Maybe someone is trying to share with you something profound that came to them in prayer. Maybe a family member is trying to describe what they do for work to you.

This language that others seem to speak has a name.

  1. special words or expressions that are used by a particular profession or group and are difficult for others to understand.
    “legal jargon”

Jargon exists not only in the scientific community (which is where I most frequently hear this term used) but also in our every day encounters. Everyone is speaking their own language, but wouldn’t it be better if we could all meet each other in the middle?

Think of the possibilities if we weren’t always interrupting, talking over each other, or trying to get someone “to our way of thinking.” What if I was genuinely interested in what you have to say AND understanding it, and you were also interested in breaking it down into small, digestible pieces?

This too has a name.

  1. the act of spreading something, especially information, widely; circulation.
    “dissemination of public information”

So this week, consider the areas where you are an expert. If the word “expert” is intimidating, think about the things you know really well, have received education about, or have extensive experience in. As you ponder these things, grab a pen and paper and answer the following:

  • What things do you know how to do really well?
  • What things do you know a lot about?
  • How would others benefit from learning about these things?
  • How can you spread your knowledge to a wider audience? Start a blog, twitter, post to Facebook, volunteer in your community, etc.

The future of our world depends on our ability to communicate, share our stories, and educate each other. Saint Mother Teresa once said,

Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.

I humbly request to add my two cents:

Let no one ever come to you without leaving with a piece of guiding information to help them be better, happier, or healthier.

You have more knowledge and skills than you are probably aware of. And the only way we will truly make the world a better place is by working together, which all begins with communication. How will you make a difference this week?

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