When I was a teenager, I thought I knew what my parents didn’t know so whenever they tried to tell me something they thought they knew, I simply informed these ignorant people, “I know.”
As time went on I started to realize that that I didn’t know as much as I thought I knew, but I wanted to know, so I went to my parents who I knew knew lots of things I didn’t know and asked them if they knew about the things that I wanted to know. But they didn’t know. They did, however, think that I could know what I wanted to know if I learned it from people who knew.
So I went to college figuring surely the professors with all their degrees knew the things I wanted to know. After all, they acted like they knew and told me if I gave them lots of money and worked very hard I could know too. So I did. I read lots of books and listened to lots of lectures. I did all my homework, I passed all the quiz’s, tests, and exams. I graduated with great honors and earned my degree which made people think that I knew and maybe I thought I knew too.
Some thought I knew enough and gave me a job teaching people what they thought I knew. I think I knew that I didn’t know, but I pretended to know so that I could make a living and pay back the school for teaching me the things I knew.
But since I knew that I really didn’t know I went back to school and studied even harder. This time I learned from the masters in their fields. People who had spend decades studying to know everything that could be known about their areas of interest. Surely if anyone could know these men would know. These men who had spend their lives seeking to know and earned their living teaching what they knew to people who wanted to know in the end had to admit that they didn’t know. “Of course we don’t know,” they proudly proclaimed, “only God knows and he hasn’t told us. But at least we know that we don’t know most people don’t even know that.”
Therefore, my quest to know what can’t be known has only confirmed that I really don’t know. My tolerance is continually tested by the ignorance of those who continue proclaiming that they know when they don’t. Those who think they know are infinitely below those of us who know we don’t know because they don’t even have the sense to to figure out that they don’t know.
It is the desire to know that leads us to knowledge, growth, and self-improvement. Once we think we know, we have cut ourselves off from ever knowing. Such a person may as well be dead for his life has become fruitless and stagnant.