I don't know
“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing” - Socrates
I don’t know.
For a little while now I have been getting comfortable with this phrase. It did not come easily as I have often felt like I should know everything, at least about some things. Or at least to appear like I did, as if not knowing was not good enough. My self worth was tied in very strongly with my always having an answer.
But saying ‘I don’t know’ is so liberating.
It started off slow, saying I don’t know just to test the waters and see what happened. Amazingly not much, the world did not end, I did not get in trouble. But I did feel a relief, a letting go.
There is so much freedom in it, a release of pressure. It seems so obvious, I mean of course we are not expected to know everything, no one does, yet the pervasive feeling of needing to remains. Is it a side effect of our culture which thrives in competition. I must know because if I don’t then the next person will and then I will lose and miss out.
It creates a mindset that we not only need to know everything, but that we do. All at the expense of our curiosity, open-mindedness, relationships., community. The repercussions are far reaching.
I don’t know. These 3 little words which on the surface may appear weak and seemingly limiting by setting an edge to our knowing, actually create so much space.
It’s like an out breath, a letting go and opening up. Sweet relief and acceptance that I do not know, and I don’t need to. And it’s ok.
And now an opening and creation of space for new ideas and and knowledge to flow in.
How much can our lives, the world change from this perspective.
How much judgement, assumptions and communications come from thinking that we know everything, that we know better.
When we remove this filter from our minds, the need to constantly be right which is that other side of always knowing, our view broadens. We become open to so many new possibilities and connections, and understanding of different view points.
“True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing. Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe