We all know that knowledge is power. But what about a person who “knows” too much? I mean, when that person vehemently believes so? According to me, here are some of the cons –
One might believe there is nothing more to learn
Yes, you heard that right. Contrary to the popular notion that a knowledgeable person is more receptive, “knowing too much” may often lead us to believe there is nothing more left to learn. As a result at some point, the growth stops. Stagnation comes in and the person becomes highly opinionated instead. Instead of welcoming new ideas, this person might dismiss them, for he/she already “knows” too much. The peak is reached. And there remains no further scope for an improvement.
Such persons may have utter disregard and disrespect for people who “know” less than them
There are people who judge people based on their physical attractiveness. There are people who judge people based on the money they have and their social standing. And there is this person who “knows” too much who judges people based on their knowledge and intellect. Little do these “overlearned” people know that intelligence isn’t always about IQ. It is also about creativity. It is also about intuition. It is also about people skills. As a result, this “overlearned” fool dismisses every other kind of intelligence except the one he possesses. Viewing the world with such a skewed lens, such a person may thus regard the majority of people as imbeciles and have utter disregard for them. Socrates knew this. No wonder why he always kept on saying, “All I know is I know nothing.”
Pessimism might seep in
Ignorance is bliss. Yes, this cliche is right. The person who “knows” too much is often aware of the “grim realities” of this world. Instead of seeking refuge in his faith, he might look for meaning or answers in philosophical writings and books. But instead of helping him, these books make things worse. Ultimately, such a person may turn into a reluctant nihilist or become as pessimist as Schopenhauer. The little things, small activities that he once found joy in, are no longer pleasurable. Positivity takes a backseat and negativity rules life. No, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t indulge. It doesn’t mean he is no longer productive. He does everything that others do, but half-heartedly. And the moment the indulgence is over, a sense of despair creeps in. For he feels he is not living up to principles and expectations he has set for himself. He considers himself a hypocrite. Detest the rat race he is a part of. Yet, does nothing about it. Which furthers increases his suffering.
Compatibility issues (relationships)
Since these people who “know” too much often regard most of the people as fools, they are not able to find partners who can match them intellectually. Consequently, they might find it difficult to have long term romantic relationships. Since the focus of these “overlearned” is on the intellect and not the other aspects of the person’s personality, such as empathy, humility, caringness, sensitivity, receptiveness, etc., they might not consider the quality of accommodating someone worthy at all. Such people might want their partners to listen to the music they like, watch movies they appreciate, read books they consider worthy, but when it comes to returning the favour, they back off. As a result, in the long term, relationships with these “overlearned” people might not be sustainable. For these people who “know” too much often don’t understand the concept of give and take. It’s all about mutual compromises. But these “overlearned” people might not get that. You can’t keep taking from people without ever giving them anything in return, right? Finding long term romantic partners is therefore very difficult for such people. And not only this. Sometimes such “overlearned” people forget to play a little dumb, and blatantly display their vast extent of knowledge or correct even their romantic interests, which might scare them away. So in many cases, the relationship doesn’t even take a footing. As a consequence, these people who “know” too much often live alone. And they may even prefer it. Freedom is at times more alluring than the “prison” of companionship.
Summing up –
Too much knowledge often comes at a price. Yes, you guess it right. Happiness! But there is one more thing people hardly talk about. Alienation! A person who “knows” too much often feels alienated. He/she is no longer able to connect with people. The mainstream sounds boring and unattractive. The mundane seems like a horror. The world appears to be an awful place full of bad people, incompetents, and nincompoops. Conclusion? Perhaps we shouldn’t “know” too much! 😉