Discuss and debate the issues that mean the most to you.
I tend to consider myself a reasonably smart person. Most of the time. I went to decent schools and I like to tell myself sweet things about my level of intelligence. But sometimes, when I sit down and really think about it, the cruel truth suddenly leaps up and lashes me smack in the eyebrow, and I realize, with no small amount of alarm, that I know a whole lot of nothing about a whole lot of possibly everything.
Meaning THERE ARE A SHIT TON O' LIFE AREAS that I have middling-to-zero comprehension of. Areas I either pretend to understand so I don't look like a total ass when someone casually asks me about them ("did you roll your 401k over to a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA?") or areas I've pretty much given up on understanding altogether (like space, and particle theory and string theory and all those theories and la di dah aarrghhhghhg shut up helppp).
Some areas, I tell myself, I don't totally NEED to understand RIGHT NOW, because, see, they're ripe for lifelong learning!, so I can start informing myself about them ANY OLD TIME -- no pressure, brah. (This is a lie, of course, because I will possibly/probably never willingly feel like subjecting myself to information about mutual funds. I know it's my money and it would behoove me to understand the strategies at my disposal to make it grow and flourish. But I'm just ... not ready. Or I'm too overwhelmed. Or I don't know where to begin because I feel so goddamn behind. Or something. Here are a few of my other Challenge Zones:
1) Math and budgeting (no thanks, no checkbook-balancing nonsense for me!)
2) The stock market, as previously mentioned
3) Geography (no really, TERRIBLE)
4) The Mafia -- sure, I loved "The Sopranos," and I loved watching "The Godfather's" 4,000 sequels as much a the next person. The problem is that I tend to get completely and totally lost and confused for no solid reason when it comes to anything Mob-related. Too much insider lingo? Too many complex internal political hijinks I'm not privy to? Whatever. I'll still watch it all and read about it all, even if I don't have a clue what it's talking about.
5) The Legislative Branch. Totally humiliating (I'm from DC! And I'm moving back there in 2 months!!) but true.
What areas of life do you suddenly catch yourself having an alarming lack of mastery or comprehension in? Anything you're embarrassed to admit you don't fully GET? Anything you fake understanding because it's easier and a f*ckofalot less humiliating than admitting the alternative? Please do tell us all about it in the comments! It will make the rest of us feel less alone, and hopefully less stupid.