What Comes After I Don't Know?

There is a lot we don't know. Not only is knowledge increasing over time giving us more to learn, it is impossible for a person to know everything. We can pick and choose what we learn. We have our interests and what we are required to know for our jobs or our families.

There are many questions we get asked where the answer is, "I don't know." What happens next is where the true value comes.

First there is the information where you don't know and you don't care. Some people might be asked this week who the starting quarterbacks are in the Super Bowl. For many they don't know and they don't care. That information is of zero value in their life. If the information provides no value to you, then not caring is an okay response.

The other clear area is when it is information you need to know. Information vital for your job, knowing when you have to pick the kids up, or what time your meeting is. If you say I don't know for these your response is going to immediately be, "I will find out." If you don't it will certainly get you in trouble with someone.

Like many things, you now have all of the grey areas. The times you say you don't know and you don't care but it is pretty clear that someone else thinks you should. Like the times my wife asks me why I didn't pick up after myself. I might think I don't know and I don't care, but to her it is not an option to not care.

I see this with my kids a lot. As they learn and grow they will behave in certain ways or say things that aren't acceptable. I will ask them why they did what they did and they will say they don't know. It feels like they don't care and I want them to see why it is important to care.

All of us have areas where we don't care but someone else cares deeply. Empathy, seeing things from another persons view and communication are vital. It is how great teams function, they care about the same things so when they don't know something, nobody says I don't care, and someone always steps up and says they will find out.

If you stay in a world of I don't know it is the same as saying I don't care. When you say I don't know, what comes next?


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