Hate To Break It To You But Knowing Everything Isn’t Everything

girl stares into the camera in a hat
Joe Gardner

Have you ever noticed that magnificent things are hardly ever comprehensible, like the universe, the ocean, and good hearts? We ponder ideas of how they came to be and feel compelled to explore them, to fully understand them, until we realize that the universe is ever expanding, the ocean’s depths are unknown, and no two good hearts are exactly alike.

We might never understand just how such things became. We’ll never really know all they had to endure to become the phenomena that they are, and what’s more, we’ll never really discover all the potential they hold inside of them.

Maybe that is why we fear them.

Our brains have been trained to forgo all grey areas, so instead, we concentrate our eyes to see clear, cut lines separating one side from another and resulting in a black and white world.

We are afraid of anything we can’t surely label or explain. We are afraid of contradiction because it is unsettling to know that unpredictability is a reality. We are afraid of uncertainty.

As humans, there rarely comes a time in our everyday lives when we don’t know something. We have become so used to knowing everything. We know what all of our friends are doing at any given time of day based off of their Snapchat story. We know what the weather is going to be like every day because an app on our phone predicts it for us.

We can get the answer to almost any question by simply typing it in a search bar. The news keeps us updated on anything and everything that is relevant; it updates us on everything that is irrelevant like which Hollywood couple split up this week.

This is where the common fear of the unknown stems from. Not knowing things makes us uncomfortable. Comfort is certainty. We like explanations, we like to know what is happening and why it is happening, and we like to know the answer. When our questions go unanswered, we feel vulnerable.

We don’t trust people who take time to get to know because the longer we don’t know them, the more opportunity they have to hurt us.

We fill our lives with surface level conversations because thinking too deeply might lead us to a question we can’t answer. We ruin creative people by placing them in a box and telling them they’re wrong for thinking differently. We confine wild things to four walls so that we are safe from them, but they are not safe from us.

We limit ourselves by limiting the world around us.

We don’t believe in anything that doesn’t make sense because we are not open to the possibility of not knowing or understanding something. We are indeed complex, intelligent creatures, but we are not omniscient– not even close. We already don’t know more than we know, and truthfully, the more we learn, the less we know.

But isn’t that kind of a beautiful thing?

The reality of how small we are settles in the moment we choose to accept that we have no idea about anything beyond our horizons. That is terrifying and inspiring all at once.

We act as though we are the rulers of the universe, but with great power comes great responsibility. It’s a good thing the power we think we have is imaginative, otherwise, we would completely crumble under all the pressure.

We would lose our sense of wonder. With every attempt to solve the mystery that is life, we make it more and more dull. When we embrace the uncertainty of what is out there, and of what is to come, the world becomes a much more magical place.

Sometimes you just have to marvel at the universe, immerse yourself in the ocean, and appreciate a good heart. It doesn’t have to make sense. Knowing everything isn’t everything. TC mark

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