Recruits fresh out of college have been joining us at work lately. Young engineers. Interacting with them over work-related matters as we slowly induct them into our group has been an illuminating experience. All of them are smart; some seem smarter than others. It is peculiar how a few of them sometimes try to bluff their way through - confidently. Sitting at the receiving end of their bluffs, I cannot help but feel amused by this behavior. Do they know that they're bluffing, or are they just happily delusional and naively courageous? I guess I will not know. Nor is it my job to discern that for certain. They'll learn eventually.

But then, I wonder if I was like that when I was in those shoes. Was I bluffing my way through some times? Or was I positively delusional to believe my bluffs? Was I also making someone wonder the same things I am wondering now? And if so, do I still do it today?

Possibly, I was. It is likely that I still am. Countless times, I have misunderstood a concept and gone on to explain it to others until I hit a contradiction in my understanding. Realizing that the people around me, my seniors and peers, have tolerated my misconceptions and have been gentle to me suddenly makes me feel grateful to them. It is quite possible they did not do it intentionally. However, if they have felt for me what I feel for the newcomers, they have my gratitude.

Wisdom seems to be a taste acquired from experience. I hope it finds me too. 


Sketch of a donkey/ass with spectacles on it
Image source