What You Don’t Know

It’s commonly said that there are things you don’t know, things you know that you don’t know, and things you don’t know that you don’t know. It’s the things in the last category that are most likely to trip you up. If you don’t recognize your own ignorance, you won’t leave space in your mind for alternate explanations. You will assume that you understand already and move forward with a mistaken idea. This causes damage.


This can happen when you are running a neighborhood outreach or improvement program. Most neighborhoods are a mixture of ages, ethnicities, socio-economic levels, and even languages. You yourself probably come from one of those subgroups, and you understand it well. But do you understand the other groups? Do you know what you don’t know?