There seems to be a lot of pressure on knowing in our culture. One somehow has to have it all figured out and already 100% knowledgable about everything. This is so perplexing. Why would you want to have nothing left to learn? Wouldn’t it be terribly boring if you had nothing to challenge you, push you, or help you grow?
Sure there are instances where having as much knowledge as possible is best for a given situation. However, the general expectation that a person should know every word in the dictionary, have read every book already, or remember be up on every current detail, seems a bit much.
What is wrong with not knowing? What about the sheer pleasure of learning, exploring, or discovering something new? We love that scientists are curious and interested in creating that which has never conceived of previously, yet when it is the rest of us a negative slant appears.
Imagine you are having a conversation and someone responds to something you say with, “Oh I haven’t heard about that. ” And then follows with various questions about the topic. Do you really consider someone who is interested in learning dumb, stupid, or foolish? The answer of course is … most likely you would enjoy that the person was eager to hear what you had to say and wanted to understand. Then why would you be so concerned if you did the same thing?
Most of us enjoy sharing information when asked and rarely negatively judge another for asking for more information. The critical self talk actually strangles our ability to do the very thing we are hoping we are projecting (wanting to already know). How are you ever going to learn it if you claim you already know it all already?
You know what it is like when you can sense that someone is pretending to know what you are talking about when they obviously do not. You wonder why they are pretending. You wonder why they are so afraid to ask or not know. It is in that moment that the negative judgement of the person often arises. Again the very thing we often fear, happens only when we pretend to already know it all.
There is so much to be gained by asking questions, not knowing, and allowing others to teach you. It can be a beautiful thing to share the connection of expanding your knowledge in the presence of another person. Be brave and admit to someone today that you don’t know and feel proud of yourself for doing so!