Learning to Not KNow

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There are so many conflicting words swirling around on social media right now, and it all leads me to these conflicting thoughts. The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t understand anything, and sometimes I long to be ignorant. To be blissfully uncomprehensive about the world around me so that I may be happy. But that’s not really what I want. It’s not really what’s best. Happiness is great in a moment, forgetting the world around us and truly turning our faces towards the sun, but it isn’t real. Because the side you turned your face away from is still important.

There is pain and conflict and sadness in the world, and while I wish I could just ignore it, I have been learning that it is best to feel it wash over me, to hold myself in a moment of understanding that the anxiety and tension and fear will subside. It is easier, yes, to be ignorant. Because in those moments, we can convince ourselves that we are all-knowing. The less we know, the more we think we know. It is as we learn and grow that we realize how little we actually understand. And because of that, life does become a little more painful, a little more anxiety-inducing. And yet, we can find more purpose in this knowledge-based reality than in the reality of not knowing. We can find more compassion. We can treat each other with more kindness as we humble ourselves and ask more questions.

One cannot understand fully what another person feels or believes or needs, but one can come closer so long as they try, just try to listen.

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