DINK #308 What Do You Not Know That You Don’t Know?

Posted on : 15-02-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Communication

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Remember Bill Withers’ song, “Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone“? When I was a little kid, the very ending drove me crazy….okay! okay! we know that you know that we know that you know that there definitely ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone!!  Well fast forward several decades and that seemingly redundant ending has a whole new meaning for me (still reminds me of my brother and I trying to sing the ending in one long breath so that we could mimic Bill but almost passing out in the process…but I digress!)

We’re starting to explore Epistemology in Philosophy Class, which is the “nature of knowledge’.  Three basic questions of Epistemology are:  What is knowledge?  What can I know? and How do I know it?  You’re probably wondering what this can possibly have to do with you, but understanding what we know and what we don’t know much less what we don’t even know that we don’t know….are some of the most important questions we can ask ourselves in regards to how we relate to the world around us.

One of my long-time coaching friends shared with me recently how much she appreciated the gift I have to just “know” what to say, when to say it and when not to say anything.  Believe me, this has been a long time coming for me—I used to be so obnoxious with all my ‘knowing” and would “know” all over anyone who would allow me the room.  Today, I’ve learned that although I do know quite a lot (in spite of my sieve-like brain) a.) there is quite a lot I don’t know and b.) when it comes to really “being there” for another person–it really doesn’t matter what you know.  What is more important is your knowing how to use what you know in a way that can help the other person to recognize what they know.

Some of my favorite teachers in life (both the academic as well as the non-academic variety) have been those people who seem to really know who I am by the way that they ask me questions about what I know, think, believe, need and/or want.  Some in particular, have had a very elegant way of responding to who I was in a very understated manner which allowed me to save face and feel almost brilliant at the same time, without taking any credit for it.  Sometimes days, weeks, months even years later I would replay the scenario in my head only to be able to see the scaffolding behind the scenes of their actions with me and appreciate them even more for allowing me the room to grow and explore.

Such a simple thing really, to ask another person what they need, or what they are thinking or even to clarify what they have said…even if we know in our gut of guts all of the answers and beyond to any of the questions we are asking.  The knowing is about going deeper into the understanding of what we  know so that we can go deeper in order to help another person in their knowing.

That’s a whole lot of special vitamin K for your brain but I believe understanding about our knowing can then lead us into further explorations of  empathy….but then that’s a whole other blog for us…know what I mean?

Blog #15 Knowing

Posted on : 05-04-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Let me see if I can remember this correctly about “knowing”. There’s we know that we know, we know we don’t know, we don’t know what we know and we don’t know that we don’t know. I think that’s right, but the main reason I’m writing these out is because of that stickler at the end:

We don’t know what we don’t know

For someone like me who feels safest (okay, and perhaps pacified when thinking that I’m more in control when “I know”) knowing the whole concept of not knowing what I don’t know is a pretty scary thought. I suppose that I have to surrender that there may be quite a few things that I don’t know that I don’t know and accept that more will be revealed when the time is right.

I think my fear may be more about other people who don’t know what they don’t know

Because some people can have a great impact on my life with just what they know along with what they know they don’t know but don’t care to know much less not knowing what they don’t know. Take the Geneva Atom Smasher:

GENEVA – The world’s largest atom smasher conducted its first experiments at conditions nearing those after the Big Bang, breaking its own record for high-energy collisions with proton beams crashing into each other Tuesday at three times more force than ever before.

I already know that I don’t know so much about this project and its impact and repercussions as well as possible new discoveries that it paralyzes my mind in mid-synopsis to consider what I don’t know that I don’t know. It’s times like this that I settle back into a good long meditation into the peace and calm of connecting with the Universe (God) and pray that there are scientists and researchers involved who care about us too and are not just out for the glory of discovery for discovery’s sake.

Now to go do some things that I do know like cuddling with my dogs, taking a shower with yummy smelling soap and heading off to school in my convertible with the sunlight pouring in … that is something that I know how to do today…..