I want to learn all I can, live as wisely as I can, and savor every moment on the journey.
I think it is a trait of maturity to be able to tolerate uncertainty. It’s a skill I can only glimpse in the distance as a place I’d like to reach, though on occasion I’ve felt its winds. For I still find myself rushing to grab a simple answer when presented with a complex problem. It’s difficult to sit back down and just let a problem be what it is, to sit with the discomfort, to be okay with not knowing the answer. This is hard, but I think it is the wise way.
For example, when I hear a discouraging report on the news, it’s easy to say, “Well, that has obviously happened because of…” Blaming someone or something is a quick way to name a cause for the problem and thus be rid of the anxiety caused by the problem.
It’s much harder, but much wiser, to acknowledge that a problem is complex and cannot be easily solved or explained. For this is the case with many of the modern-day problems we face individually and as a society. If there truly were simple answers for our problems, we wouldn’t have the problems. The reality is that our modern lives are very complex.
Therefore, it is a valuable skill and a mark of maturity to be able to say that a problem is complex and you don’t know the answer. Certainty is a sound made by immaturity. To let difficulties be difficult, to tolerate the uncertainty of not having an easy answer, and to stay open to new information as a result—this, I think, is wisdom.