Saturday, May 22, 2004

Published May 22, 2004
St. George Spectrum & Daily News

Every now and then, I use my column as an opportunity for self-improvement by confessing to a personality trait of which I'm not completely proud. This is one of those columns. It won't be easy, but I've got to do what I've got to do. Here goes.....

Ladies and gentlemen, I am a know-it-all.

I say know-it-all, though I know very well that I don't know it ALL. Who could? I'm just secure in the knowledge I do have and am willing to debate it and back it up. I really wish the expression were more like, "know a lot about a few, particular subjects." It would take the edge off, anyway.

The negative connotation behind the figure of speech really has more to do with the attitude of the knowledgeable person than the actual knowledge. No one likes to be contradicted, given unsolicited advice, or made to look intellectually inferior. As a reformed contradictory, superior, advice giver, I've learned this to be all too true. And as the daughter of a know-it-all, I realized I already knew that, anyway (Sorry mom, but we're one of a kind).

The good news is that I've found a place where my knowledge can be given freely and appreciated, for the most part. Southern Utah, the internet is a know-it-all's dream come true.

Just tonight, I held court at my favorite bulletin boards, handing out such tidbits of wisdom as the use of papaya for heartburn relief, a few midwives' tricks for lowering blood pressure, food sources of absorbable iron, and my thoughts on when induction of labor is really necessary. People were blessed with my knowledge, and I got a much needed know-it-all fix.

Lest you think my advice unsolicited, I will say that all my facts were given in response to pleas for exactly that advice. I used phrases like, "in my experience," and, "for me," so as to appear as, uh, unsuperior as possible. I did contradict someone on a thread about ginger use in pregnancy, but blatant ignorance just can't be ignored!

The great thing about the internet is that it's not just a place for me to share my knowledge, but to gain knowledge, as well. So even though I don't actually know it "all," with a few clicks on my mouse, I can "know-it-more and more and more!" And with a wealth of people seeking all sorts of advice, I can type away to my heart's content as if I knew it all along.

After rereading this column, I'm realizing I seem more proud of my know-it-all status than repentant. I don't think I've improved myself at all. Now I feel really bad! Something must be done!

Next week's topic: Living in my sins and loving them too much.