We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know

I had eaten canned tuna for decades before I saw actual tuna in a fish market while visiting my daughter in Virginia. I grew up on a beef farm so I was well aware of where meat comes from–it was my experience with seafood that was lacking.

That can be true in our research as well. We do not always know what we don’t know, but need to be aware that there can be gaps in our experience or knowledge that could hinder our research in one way or another. Even when we are partially familiar with a process, concept, lifestyle, historical era, etc. there can be differences of which we are not aware. The possibility of drawing incorrect conclusions can be even greater when we think we know more than we actually do.

Do not be afraid to learn and be willing to admit that there may be things of which you are unaware.

Like that fact that tuna in the wild is a lot bigger than those little cans that made their way to the grocery store a few miles from my home in the rural Midwest.