Mind Your Ps & Qs

Rod Pickett
2 min readMar 25, 2024

Knowing means to penetrate through the surface, in order to arrive at the roots, and hence the causes; knowing means to “see” reality in its nakedness. Knowing does not mean to be in possession of the truth; it means to penetrate the surface and to strive critically and actively in order to approach truth ever more closely.
Erich Fromm, To Have or To Be?

When we first learned our ABCs we memorized a song.

It wasn’t until later that we connected the names of the letters with the letters themelves.

We also found out that ellimenopee was five letters, not just one.

We learned how to make the letters, even though we often confused our Ps and Qs.

Then we learned that each letter represented certain sounds depending on what other letters are around it.

We might stop there.

But perhaps we learned the history of the Latin alphabet, how it developed from the Phoenician alphabet.

The letters of that alphabet started out as pictograms.

The first letter aleph represented an ox. The second letter beth represented a house.

These became A and B. Together they formed our word alphabet.

Perhaps we learned another language with a different alphabet.

Sometimes the letters look the same but have different names and make different sounds.

Sometimes the letters are completely different and are even written from right to left.

We could continue our exploration of letters and languages indefinitely.

But the point is that the truth and reality have no end.

There is always more to learn and more to understand.

It would be a grave mistake to believe that we have grasped the totality of our world or even ourselves.

If we attempt to store facts in our memories, this becomes overwhelming.

However, if we seek to understand, the more we learn, the more connections we can make with what we already know.

And the more we learn, the more we discover how much more there is to learn.

On one hand, we should be curious about what lies beyond the frontier of our knowledge.

On the other hand, we should humbly acknowledge that we have not reached the end of what can be known.

We also should remember that some of what we have learned will need to be refined or even discarded as we learn more.

We all are at different points on our journey of discovery and understanding, even on different paths in different territories.

This journey is not a race or competition.

Knowledge is useful, but that is not its true value.

We seek truth and understanding because we must, because as we discover truth we discover ourselves.

Rod Pickett

Now available at Amazon: The Courageous Heart: Wisdom for Difficult Times in paperback and eBook, an Eric Hoffer Award Finalist.



Rod Pickett

Rod Pickett is a writer, pastor, teacher, photographer, real estate broker, personal trainer, consultant, trained hypnotist, woodworker and life-long learner.