When you know enough to know that you just don’t know.

The key to true wisdom is acknowledging how little you know. I knew a lot more about everything at the age of eighteen than I do now. Is that true? Not really. But I thought that I knew more and no one could have told me otherwise. Now I’m able to acknowledge the extent of the world that I simply don’t understand, can’t understand or have yet to learn.

It’s important to note that there’s nothing wrong with not knowing. Sometimes people treat lack of knowledge as though shameful thing. I think it takes a certain amount of confidence and strength to be willing to acknowledge that you don’t know something. You also need to be willing to learn though. Perhaps the shame in not knowing is actually a shame in being unwilling to know and people merely miscalculate reaction timing? I know enough to know that I just don’t know.

24 thoughts on “When you know enough to know that you just don’t know.

  1. It’s a bit of wisdom getting harder and harder to witness in life these days – embracing “I don’t know” as a positive and the beginning of the journey of learning. 👌🏽

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Too many people will say ‘I don’t know’ and then move onto the next, rather than learning, rather than teaching themselves, rather than expanding their horizons.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I don’t understand how somebody could think they know everything despite clearly not knowing everything, and that it’s clearly impossible 🤷‍♂️. That’s obviously why we have books etc, to help us more-efficiently learn what other people have pain-stakingly learned before us, in order to at least learn more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When you mention gifts I’m reminded of what a gift books are. Teaching us how to read and write. Teaching us what happened before us, the painstaking lessons people have had to learn so that we don’t have to. Books are so damn good.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. There is a line in a song that goes something like, the more I know the less I understand. That I think is true. You make a good point here V, since when were we expected to know it all? I definitely can respect someone for admitting they don’t know ABC etc. I tell my boys, you will never know it all and to remain open to learning. I try to acknowledge 1 thing everyday that is new to me that I didn’t know before. Good post😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. From my own experiences V, staff, patients, students etc appreciated when I said “I don’t know. But I’ll find out for you.” That my job more interesting too as I often learned something new.

    I love the Conscious Competence Learning Model which explains the stages by which we learn and ultimately acquire a new skill. In this model, the learner always begins at Unconscious Incompetence and passes through Conscious Incompetence and Conscious Competence before arriving at Unconscious Competence.

    For me, some people continue for many years in the unconscious Incompetence where they’re not even aware they’re incompetent lol. Like some of our Mental Health Nurses in the UK.

    Then there’s the Consciously Incompetent who know they’re incompetent but can’t be bothered to learn i.e. again, some of our mental health nurses – burnt out and dangerous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never heard of the terms consciously competent and consciously incompetent, but that’s such a good terminology for it. There’s people willing to learn and people who aren’t.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree, the key to wisdom is by acknowledging that there is still so much to learn. For me, there is still so much I don’t know, and I’m constantly learning. Growth is a lifelong process.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Reminds me of a line from one of my favorite songs “I am no master and I know nothing, but I am a servant and I know something.” Black as the Night by Nahko and medicine for the people

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never heard of this song before seeing this comment, so I went to check it out. This is token mountain music. TOKEN mountain town vibes coming from this guy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I saw him in concert when I lived in Madison WI, love him, so glad you checked him out. 7 feathers is also a gem

        Liked by 1 person

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