Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Living With Uncertainty And Mystery

One of the monks at the Abbey of Gethsemani once said that “almost nothing is any of my business.” This monk was not advocating living in ignorant bliss. I believe it is not important, or even necessary, to know everything. I also agree with the good brother that "almost nothing is any of my business." Ignorance, however, can sometimes be a good thing and sometimes a bad thing. I don’t need to know everything that is going on with every other person in my life. I don’t need to know all the office or family gossip. At the same time I do want to know about the things that are true and important. I want to know about things that affect me. Sometimes we want to know everything because we feel it is absolutely necessary to live our lives our lives with absolute certitude and to minimize doubt. We feel like we not only want to know everything, we need to know everything. Sometimes that might be nice but then too much knowledge can be a bad thing. For example, I really don’t want to know the date I am going to die. Now this may be an extreme example but I prefer to live with the unknown and the mystery. I like living with some doubt and uncertainty. I like to know that each day is an open book full of possibilities. So, while it might be true that most things are none of my business, I also believe that even the things that are my business don’t need to be laid out in front of me in perfect order and with complete certitude. Give me a little mystery so life can be full of surprises.

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