What a grand situation, to know that it’s okay to not know.
As any parent of a 3 year old knows, it is such a burden to be the smartest person in the room! Or to be the one that all heads turn to in the boardroom, when an important decision needs to be made.
The world provides us these days with so many answers about so many things (many of which we don’t or shouldn’t care about). How do people fit all this information into their heads. Why is the mush mingled with the important?
How refreshing and shocking would it be if you asked a question at your next staff meeting, and your supervisor said “I don’t know”. Or your grocery clerk said “I don’t know when the next truck arrives with the yoghourt that’s on sale".
Just say it, I say, “I don’t know”. It would free us all up from pretending and just get on with it.
Many of us now have the freedom from being the parent who needs to have the answers. Our children are long gone to homes of their own and don’t need to call us for a recipe on a regular basis. They also have high-speed access to any ridiculous question that crops up in their head after two beer. It makes me a little nostalgic sometimes, that I no longer have the answers for them.
Do you know anyone who is studying to be a librarian these days? My guess is probably not! When I was younger, it seemed like a job for a really smart person, imagine being someone who could get back to you quickly with your most burning question.
I have embraced the words “I don’t know”, and I try to use them every day. People are usually surprised when I speak them but it allows me to be honest and real and for them to talk some more about something else they can explain to me.
“I don’t know” is like a huge door that opens to all that I could know. It gives me permission to find out what is important to me. It’s going to let me fill in some personal gaps. It will feel like tasty icing that holds my thoughts together.
I don’t know what’s next, do you?