He who thinks he knows, doesn’t know. He who knows that he doesn’t know, knows.
The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know.
When I knew less, I was less aware of the vast areas of knowledge that I hadn’t explored.
But there is another kind of ignorance that is a bigger problem. Eighteen percent of what I know isn’t true.
Unfortunately, I don’t know which 18%.
(I don’t even know if it is really 18%.)
I used to have a lot more answers. Now I try to ask the right questions.
With time and a good dose of humility, the answers to those questions get better and better.
When I was first learning something, I would take in information from those more expert than I was.
As I learned more, I began to think of myself as some kind of expert.
But the truly wise cultivate the beginner’s mind.
They know that novices can often see things experts cannot.
They know that naïve questions can sometimes expose flaws in accepted knowledge.
They know that the more they question their beliefs, the more confidence they can have in what remains.
There is a further humility that is rare nowadays.
The truly wise respect those who have different answers and even different questions.
They try to understand those other beliefs.
Rather than defend their own position, they seek the truth — wherever it leads.
And they respect the right of others to have different views of that truth.
But they don’t tolerate sloppy reasoning.
And that is often mistaken for intolerance.
Conclusions must be able to compete in the marketplace of ideas. The proper response to a weak argument is a better argument.
None of us has the last word on the truth.
As Dirty Harry said, “A man’s got to know his limitations.”
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