You want to know something really liberating about critical thinking?
It allows you to drop all your pretenses.
As a critical thinker, there is a recognition that there are no more powerful words in the English language than “I don’t know”.
It’s pretty awesome, actually.
Admitting you don’t know shouldn’t be viewed as an admission of weakness or insecurity. It’s the only place where real learning and growth begin!
Did you ever wonder what it is about being a child that makes life so much fun? What is is that kids have that we lose as we grow up?
It’s their sense of wonder and delight at discovering things. They KNOW they don’t know and they can’t wait to find out. They pester everyone with questions because they want to know everything.
Unfortunately, as we get older, that sense of wonder pretty much gets beaten out of us. Socially, we are taught by our peers almost as soon as we start making friends that ignorance is not bliss. The name calling, the ridicule and being laughed at soon convince us that it’s better to just make things up instead of admitting that we don’t know. We get into this habit and pretty soon can even convince ourselves that we’re experts in areas we know almost nothing about.
We walk around wearing this pretense of knowledge like body armor but really it’s as thin as tissue paper because we know anyone anywhere could find out what a fraud we are any moment. Do you like living like that, because I don’t.
And here’s the thing: there is nothing wrong with not knowing.
The truth is that saying “I don’t know” is not any indication that you’re a moron or are lacking in any kind of intelligence. It just means you never learned or can’t remember something.
We are born not knowing and it’s the quest for knowledge and experience that keeps life fresh and keeps us alive.
Some of the most miserable, hateful and spiteful people I’ve ever known have been the ones who had thought they knew exactly what was going on and didn’t have anything more to learn. Don’t try to tell them anything. They’ve got it all figured out. Those aren’t the people who are changing the world for the better. They aren’t even trying.
It’s those who want to learn, who want to discover and want to grow – those are the people upon whom we all depend to make the next big discoveries and take the next leap forward. They are the scientists, the inventors, the philosophers and the leaders who can take our species to the next level in our evolution.
We all have it in us to learn and grow. It starts with an honest appraisal of what we do know, what we are certain of, and being strong enough to admit that we have some more learning to do.
I love critical thinking for teaching me this. I can’t wait to learn more.
Thank you for watching.