You do not need to know
“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”
― Thomas Merton
When a frightening situation arises, my first impulse is to try to find out as much about it as I can. For me, information has always brought a sense of empowerment, along with the comfort of reassurance and/or the chance to prepare myself to face the worst aspects of whatever is going on. I’m sure this tendency to seek power in knowledge has something to do with my lifelong fascination with libraries, which led to my seemingly inevitable path through library school.
With almost any trait, though, it’s best not to take it too far. Since information is often ambiguous at best and contradictory at worst, an over-reliance on it can lead to what a friend of mine called “paralysis by analysis,” a common setback for me. It might seem counter-intuitive, but the older I get, and the more experiences I have, the less I know. Oddly, it comes as rather a relief.
No matter how carefully we plan, the road ahead is uncertain at best, for all of us. Let’s remind each other that life can be an adventure if we choose to see it that way. Regardless of what lies in store, it will be easier to bear if we surround ourselves with people who understand and practice courage, faith and hope.
One year ago today: