The first time I heard “What is the difference between ignorance and stupidity?” and then the punch line “I don’t know and I don’t care” was in a movie many years ago. In the movie, everyone responded with pompous laughter, as if his or her intellect was superior and couldn’t possibly fall into the category of being either ignorant or stupid.
When I am in a session with someone, I uphold a rule that anyone over the age of twelve is not allowed to say “I don’t know” when I inquire about why they took a specific action or how they feel about a subject. After the age of twelve, with all of the growing and learning we have done up to that point, we should all understand our own thought processes enough to know the reasons behind our actions - what motivates us, frightens us, frustrates us, causes us pain, or brings us happiness.
“I don’t know” is not an accurate response when someone asks you to explain what you did - I think we all know the reasons for our actions. You may not want to admit your reasons because of guilt, shame, or fear of reprisal, but you still know why you took an action. You just have other motivations for not wanting to admit it.
In contrast, responding with “I don’t know, I will think about it,” shows that you are giving conscious thought to something you are unsure about. Instead of simply dismissing the subject with “I don’t know,” you are stating that you are willing to think about it in order to reach an intelligent conclusion. It could apply to the simplest or most complex question. This is about being conscious, being aware, and being smart in your own life.
At times, to formulate the correct answer, the question you ask yourself after “I don’t know” must carry more depth in order for you to reach an intelligent answer. However, delving deeper doesn’t always apply easily to your actions or your feelings. Sometimes, the "I don’t know" rolls off of your tongue because although you know what you’re feeling and why you took an action, you are unsure whether the feeling or action is right and you fear reprimand or judgment. This relates to owning up to your emotions and actions. It is important for you to admit to what you’ve done – your actions are your responsibility. Own the feelings that led up to your action and own the feelings the action created. Think about what you do, how you feel, who you are, and the reasons behind your actions. What is it that motivates you and why does it drive you to the actions you take? You should always know the why.
“I don’t know” should always be followed with “I will think about it,” which should then be followed through with deep conscious contemplation to bring you to an answer. Be smart in your own life.
Peace and Love to the Universe!