Knowledge is not enough to give us the lives we are created to experience. Of course, education, research, exploration, invention, activation, production, manufacturing, distribution, increased capacities, all these forms of knowledge and applied knowledge are incredible. They are wonderful, even amazing. Even more, though, hearts connected to knowledge is better.
I recently heard two men talking to each other, after a men’s group I had facilitated (I’m a therapist who works with professional men). One is a physician and the other one a lawyer, each person highly knowledgeable and accomplished in their respective fields. The lawyer shared with the rest of the men present about a past experience he had with the physician. It went as follows:
The lawyer said, “When I was struggling very hard the other day about my life, the failures and heartaches, I was at a bottom and even hopeless. You were sitting beside me, and I hardly knew you. I was bent over crying and ashamed. You reached out and put your hand on my shoulder for a minute. I will never forget that for the rest of my life.” The physician quietly said, “Thank you.”
That interchange was it. That information is the whole story of a moment. The man who shared his broken heart was touched by a man who could identify with heart wounds. He was able to express care. Not because he is a physician, but because he could identify with a human experience. That moment affected the other man’s life, he said in an unforgettable way.
Both people are extremely competent in their fields of knowledge. But care touches us, perhaps as much as, or more deeply, than competence. When competence and caring are combined, lived in an integrated way, that brain and heart presence is enough. That “enough” is really good.