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It’s Okay to Not Know

It’s believed to be a human responsibility to keep learning and gaining knowledge throughout life. But the awareness which is stimulated with the knowledge may at times bring negative impacts, sometimes even complicating things. In such moments, do the benefits of learning stay apt enough to hold?

Being a student of History, I always had ample interest in digging the past and finding reasons for not only events but also behind the behaviour of each character associated with it. The deeper we dig in the past, more we discover complications. Although it is a concern for knowing the reality the hunger for more and more knowledge would lead a student to a point where they would realize that in reality, they know nothing about anything.

While one is still figuring the ways to free their head from the confusions, a person may also realize that many times the deep knowledge may neither guarantee them happiness nor satisfaction. It was thus, the famous American author Henry James who once remarked, “The more you know the unhappy you are”. It must be known that knowledge begets rationality, as a result of which a person would be able to see the dirty stains on both sides of the shawl of situation, thus, may prefer not to be standing at anybody’s side. But in this perfect seeming approach, many end up isolatin others and in turn is isolated by them.

Not only this, enough of knowledge may turn us into those practical people who agree on only the things that could be attested with open eyes and fails to feel the happiness and magic which can’t be described but just be felt. Sometimes, one turns lonely and worried and might have nothing to hold on to; it’s just unseen-irrational ‘hope’ that helps to keep living. But for a person, deeply guided by the rules of practical knowledge, there is no way to wait until the light arrives in the darkroom.

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The excessive practicality acquired through knowledge is capable of killing the emotions altogether. If we keep on studying everything with scrutiny, we may end up finding that bond, and how everyone behaves has a reason behind it, thus, would try not to react how we feel, but merely react in a tone like the person we deal with. Likely, with practicality, a person may appreciate things less and would overthink, have doubts and suspicions about everything. Thus, one may not enjoy the true and exotic emotions, which don’t come with a reason and can only be felt through insanity and not with the calculations.

Sometimes not knowing much may help us being less worried and sad. Maybe the others might hate you at your back; maybe the present is screwed and the future is uncertain, everything wrong is happening, be it anything, but thinking too much about anything might not fix the problem, but it would help to worry less and have you least a sound sleep. If the situation is uncontrollable of all sorts, it’s better to be an ignorant naive, than an enlightened sad.

It must be said that nowhere I mean to ignore everything around and see everything as just black and white. For a person it is indeed important to see through the colours, find the different shades of grey. However, like everything knowing too should have a limit, thus, it must be checked while running after the true colour, a person may not end up being colour blinded under the palate of so many shades and ranges of colours.

Knowledge and learning are indeed essential for our survival. But how the extreme of nothing is considered feasible, likewise, consumption of knowledge should be in portions. At moments, it may be fine to stop trying and celebrate what all is already known, sometimes, it may be ‘okay to not know’.

Aashish Kochhar is a student pursuing History Hons. at Jamia Millia Islamia.

Edited by: Malaika M Khan

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Jamia Review or its members.

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Written by Aashish Kochhar

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