Not Knowing What I Don’t Know

One of the things I have learned over the years is that there are things that I don’t know that I don’t know. That is a bit different than knowing what I don’t know. For example, I know that I don’t know how the economy really works. I also know that I don’t know what makes women work. And I know that I don’t know know how the brain works.

Not knowing what I don’t know is different. I’m not sure I can even provide and example because if I could then I would know what I don’t know. So what I’ve learned is that I almost always have to assume that there is something I don’t know about everything. I’ve begun to ask people who are “experts” in various areas what is it that I most likely don’t know I don’t know? I do it because ignorance about my ignorance can lead me into some dangerous territory.

That doesn’t mean I might not make decisions, or that I can’t move ahead in my work, or pursue new endeavors within the church. I know that the Holy Spirit will guide even in the midst of ignorance which brings confidence and comfort. But that knowledge doesn’t excuse me from the hard work of learning and shrinking my “lack of knowledge” base … especially the one that I don’t know about yet. As the saying goes, “what you don’t know can hurt you. A lot.”

Incidentally I found this article about unknown unknowns. And the more I think about it, this previous post on brutal reality may apply here too.

Why this post? I don’t really know … do you?


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