I’ve taken to using the word ‘cluefulness’ and all its glorious variants because I’m tired of hearing people bandy about phrases like ‘he hasn’t got a clue’ and ‘she’s the most clueless person I ever had on my staff.’ Listen up: that language misses the point, and here’s why.
First of all, people who don’t have a clue don’t realize what they are missing. Duh. (Why would they have a clue about themselves if they don’t have a clue about others?
Second, I realized that it doesn’t matter if you have a clue or not. How many times have you found yourself in a situation where you really didn’t have a clue? (For me, the first video game after Pong left me in the cold. Blasting Space Invaders and chomping power pills just wasn’t an attraction.) What matters is whether or not you care.
In the case of video games, I was clueless but I still had to care. Between my two kids, the television was permanently tuned to whichever game one or the other was playing.
I was forced to confront my cluelessness and to try to become clueful.
Guess what. It wasn’t that hard. I asked questions. I listened politely. I shook my head, despairing I would ever be clueful enough. And amidst the head-shaking, some puzzle pieces must have rattled into place. I realized that my attraction to the game was irrelevant. It was important to my kids, and they were entitled to their own view of the game. And the world. And even their own view of me.
So that solved the problem. Because I cared, I became more clueful, at least where it concerned my job as mom. And, amazingly enough, it also worked at the office.
We can increase cluefulness in our time. We just need to care about it.