Life has been one learning curve, and the more I learn, the more I know I do not know.
There are times when I am frustrated with my lack of knowledge on a subject that others can freely talk about. Times when I cannot converse with others because of my lack of language skills.
There are times when I listen to others talking on a subject that they have little or no knowledge about, yet they talk as if they are the world’s expert, filling listeners with their views, resulting in rubbish, misinformation being passed on.
I remember my mother saying “Oh I will not eat that, I know I wont like it, my friend said it was horrid.”
When I asked, “Have you tried it yourself, you might like it?“
Her reply would be, “No I have not tried it. I know I wont like it.”
I endevour to try everything, anything, to enrich my knowledge, learn new ways, learn new ideas, perhaps that is why I have such a rich portfolio of training skills I can offer to clients and participants, I am always adding to my knowledge.
If I have tried something and did not like it, at least I can speak with knowledge and say “no thank you”, or I can give an informed view from my perspective, my understanding.
I thought I had a good education. but I was I suppose lazy in that I could have learned more. Perhaps if I had knuckled under at college and spent more time learning the French language, I would not have the problems I have now in speaking other tongues.
But I was only taught what was on the school Curriculum, what the teachers were told to teach us. As a result I came away with a certificate which said I had a knowledge of history, I was educated.
I thought I knew it all. I was an expert, after all, I had my certificate.
How wrong I was.
I was taught and had read about the Second World War. I had listened to my Uncles and their stories about what had happened to them in that war, my Uncle Vernon in his scout truck racing through France. My Uncle Frank who was in the Signals Unit of the RAF (Radio Operator) in the Nordic countries, but he never spoke about his war, I never knew that part of his history. Why would an RAF person be based in a foreign country, and would never talk about his experiences?.
I had watched the big movies of the 2nd World War. Reach For The Sky, The Dam Busters, 633 Squadron, Battle of Britain to name a few.
I thought I knew it all.
Last year I started looking into the British WW2
fighter aircraft, the Spitfire
and the Hurricane
, and read books, researched, visited museums, talked to ex pilots, and yes I know I have only just scratched the surface
. I read about the war in Africa, and how the island of Malta
was very important strategically and had to be defended at all costs against the German and Italian forces. How the Hurricane
aircraft was sent to Malta
to defend the skies. How the Hurricanes
began to win the war, pushing the enemy back into mainland Europe.
Once the enemy was back in Europe how the British gained a foothold in Italy
or to be precise Sicily
, and the Hurricanes
gained the upper hand against the Italian Airforce
I was relating my new knowledge, or lack of knowledge to my good Italian friend and colleague Gianni Golfera
, discussing what I was learning about our mutual past history and interests in aircraft, and mentioned about the Hurricanes in Sicily
, and the white slave trade, (more to follow)
, that had affected many European countries in the early 1600’s to the late 1700’s. Gianni
had heard nothing of them, but he knew a man who did, his Grandfather.
A few days later, Gianni
contacted me to verify what I had told him was correct. There had been a big white slave market in Europe which also involved Italians, and that the Hurricanes
had been in Sicily
. His Grandfather had been an Italian Fighter pilot
, and had been involved in air battl
es with the Hurricane
He told how his Grandfather was flying on patrol over the sea near Sicily one day, when he was attacked by two Hurricanes. Gianni’s Grandfather flew for his life and dived to sea level followed down by the two British Hurricanes. Due to miscalculation, due to inexperience of the British pilots, both Hurricanes crashed into the sea, Gianni’s Grandfather was safe.
No where in all the books I read was there any mention about the lost of these two Hurricanes. There was plenty written about how good the Hurricanes were. So were the Hurricanes as good as I had read? Were there flaws? Was what I was reading one sided? Was I only being told what the powers that be (educators, the governments) or the author wanted me to know?
Why are we told what others want us to know, and only that? Why is there so much missing from our history lessons?
Do we know it all?