I have a simple response when I don’t know something: “I don’t know, but I’ll find out.”
But is it that easy to find something out?
Research is time consuming and involves wading through academic papers, stories in newspapers, journals, and books. It’s easy to fall victim to confirmation bias: “the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s preexisting beliefs or hypotheses, while giving disproportionately less consideration to alternative possibilities.”
I remember being taught in middle school and high school about how to interpret the news. It involved looking at multiple sources to see how each newspaper interpreted events. It involved research in order to get the full picture.
Research in today’s world is automated and simple. We can search for just about anything while on the toilet, and that is often the same level of regard some people hold to its importance and validity.
I don’t know everything. In fact, there is a lot I have no understanding of. That is why I rely on the research and experience of others to educate me and transform me into a better person.
I often find comfort in a shared link because I don’t have to research. I don’t have to spend the time in the vacuum of opinions found between two extreme ideologies. I can revel in my ignorance.
But eventually, I have to say: “I don’t know, but I’ll find out.”