You Can’t Know What You Don’t Know

Teresa Roberts
3 min readFeb 13, 2024

Or Some Such Nonsense

Your day is over. (My photo)

The other day I posted this question on Facebook …

Do you remember when people were allowed to smoke in hospitals?

Pretty soon, my question was met with a barrage of interesting memories.

One gentleman responded that he was an asthmatic kid who ended up on two different occasions in the hospital with pneumonia. On one occasion he shared the room with an elderly man who smoked in the bed next to him the entire time. Nobody seemed concerned about a possible fire hazard let alone the damage secondhand smoke might be doing to the little boy fighting pneumonia.

Another woman mentioned that when her mother was in labor, the doctor gave her a cigarette from his pocket after delivery. She puffed away on the reward while he finished stitching her up.

A friend of mine wrote that she not only remembered her mom smoking in her hospital bed but also remembered passengers blowing smoke on airlines.

One woman recalled smoking in the workplace back in the day. She also recalled being asked if she’d care for a cigarette as she was scheduling a C-section.

The slew of answers were very revealing.

We often think that life doesn’t change much. I’m the first to admit that social change is difficult. A major portion of the population always digs in their heels and refuses to budge. It takes decades to change our collective point of view. Many people would rather suffer than change.

It’s hard to help people.

However, if you live long enough and take a moment to reflect on the way things were decades ago, it can fill you with awe. Whether we like it or not, things changed. Sometimes for the better.

Hold on to that thought.

As you finish reading this article, maybe you, too, are remembering the way things used to be and shaking your head at the lack of knowledge your parents, hell, even your doctor, had.

We know a lot more today than Grandma and Grandpa. With the knowledge comes responsibility, however.

Many shirk responsibility, even think they prefer the good old days. But deep down inside, we all know that we’re living longer than former generations because we know things that doctors didn’t understand in the past.

One day, our children will pass us up, too.

They will most likely leave us behind in the outdated notions of our pasts. Don’t resist. Enjoy the sound of hope and progress.

They are the future.

Teresa is an author and professional myth buster. You can find her books on Amazon.



Teresa Roberts

Teresa is an author, world traveler, and professional myth buster. She’s also a top writer on climate change and the future.