It’s okay to say “I don’t know”


You need a 7 Day BrainwashThere is an old Zen story about a sage who came to a Zen master seeking enlightenment. As is their wont, the Zen guy wants to drink lots of tea first. He produces the teapot and pours tea into the sage’s cup. But when it is full, he keeps pouring, presumably making a nasty hot stain on his guest’s lap.

“What are you doing?” shouts the sage. “The cup is full! No more will go in!”

“As is your mind,” says the tea-obsessed monk. “To become enlightened you must first empty your mind, for full as it is of ideas and thoughts, no more will go in.”

We may revere knowledge, seek after truth, (as if there was only one), and covet uncovering the secrets to the meaning of all existence, but there are times when knowing won’t suffice. There are times when we can’t know. And there are times when we simply don’t know.

Sometimes it’s hard to say “I don’t know.” But if it’s the truth, then humbly admit it.

And you’ll be at peace.

Just for today, stop searching for answers, and mentally itemize all the things you’ve put energy into but still aren’t certain of, or don’t know. Then ask yourself, does it matter? Or would I rather be at peace?

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