Today I swear I won’t do nothing else. I’ll just lay on this tiny little bed of mine and imagine. I honestly don’t want to, but I’ll have to. Why am I frittering away your time on what I’m going to do? I have an even better suggestion. What do you say if we do this together? Participating is more exciting than just tagging along! So, shall we?
Let’s begin here. Imagine if life was certain. That from the time we were born we’d already know what to expect from it. What if God just gave us a scrupulous manuscript of our lives? And at the time of our delivery we’d have to read it and know what course our lives would take, what ailments we’d have, what disorders and diseases we’d suffer from, the achievements and successes we’d celebrate, everything actually, all joys and sorrows, the number of years, months, weeks, days, hours and even seconds which we’d live for inclusive? Do you think life would be interesting? Would it be worth living? Would it even be possible to live it? And even after living it, would it be eminently satisfactory? Do you think we’d love it? Enjoy it? Live it to the fullest? Appreciate it? Would we treat it like the jewel that it is? Would it be fragile? Would it have the particular beauty that it has?
I’ll leave these questions for you to chew on, suffice to say, would we even call it life to begin with?
Personally, I believe permanent, intolerable uncertainty is the art that has made life possible. It’s what has proved human existence. The feeling of just not knowing has given us the curiosity and willingness to live. It has made us eager to learn, to soar to greater heights and to explore the world deeply enough. It’s like getting into an exam room not knowing what questions the examiner is going to set. I do enjoy the rollercoaster ride of emotions that comes with this. The manic-depressive like feeling. Some questions shocking me, some depressing me, some surprising me while others please me. It’s also like going for a dance competition. You get onto that stage fully prepared but not knowing what the judges will think of the moves you’ll burst or your choreography or your costume. You never know what kind of result you’ll get until you try your best, and see to it until the end.
The crucial element of doubt and uncertainty is chance. And life is just that. The exact same way there are to sides to a coin, so is how life is lived. There’s always a 50% chance. We’re always unsure of what there is to expect but taking the risk is the only way. No one can be certain about uncertainty and there’s no antidote to it, which is what life is all about -not knowing, having to change and taking the moment and making the best of it. Delicious ambiguity? To define it any other way would be difficult. It was once said; chance is always powerful. Let your hook always be cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be fish.
The human mind will always long for certainty but maybe certainty is just an illusion. Astronomer and writer Carl Sagan once said;
Humans may crave absolute certainty; they may aspire to it; they may pretend…to have attained it. But the history of science -by far the most successful claim to knowledge accessible to humans -teaches that most we can hope for is successive improvement in our understanding, learning from our mistakes, an asymptotic approach to the universe, but with proviso that absolute certainty will always elude us.
We will always be mired in error. The most each generation can hope for is to reduce the error bars a little and to add to the body of data to which error bars apply. The error is pervasive, visible self-assessment of the reliability of our knowledge.
To answer the many questions I had asked earlier on -in my opinion, if life were predictable there would be no spice. It would be very dull and meaningless. It would be a cheap-jack. I love the fact that I don’t know what life has to offer, and with all the surprises that come with it, I enjoy. I’m glad that with uncertainty the story of life is more thrilling. It is filled with commas and not periods. Just when you think a sentence is complete, more is added to it, a phrase that is more interesting making the sentence worth reading and analysing.
When all this is said and done. Life? Let me thank you for being a mysterious garden, for being filled to the brim with anonymous events and moments. Because I’ll face the unknown each day and everyday I’ll try to embrace it without much anticipation.