One of the things that has left my personality and make-up over the past ten years is the language and emphasis of "certainty". You know what that is. It's when someone thinks or says, "oh, I'm sure it's going to be blah blah blah" – or, "well, everyone knows that Republicans blah blah blah" – and, "I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that blah blah blah".
It's making a stand on opinion, on feeling, on happenstance. It's standing for something, knowing you'd rather not fall for anything. It's cultural, it's relational, it's groupthink. It's making something foundational that doesn't need that kind of pressure. It's black and white in a world full of shades of color.
For some, it's a feeling of safety that draws us towards certainty. There's a peace, a stability, in knowing the answer and staking a claim to it. For some, it's arrogance – that's not a bad thing necessarily, but it just feels good to "be right", to "be in the know", to "have all the facts". Sometimes, it is the need for acceptance, to fit into a certain group or classification. Or it's the need for assurance, to know that you think you've got the answers and having this group of folks coming to the same conclusions, then you can be right and verified in the crowd.
For me, I don't see it as a positive. I'm too quick to be arrogant, too quick to claim know-it-all status. So having a bit of uncertainty keeps me on my toes, so to speak. It keeps me honest, and I hope keeps me real. It opens doors to other viewpoints not as compromise, but as worthy avenues or pursuit to flesh out truth over and above just my perspective. It gives credance to your position, to your perspective. It gives voice to "the other side" by realizing there is more than one way to skin a cat (mmmm, skinned cats – sorry, I digress).
As a parent, this is a tough position to take, one where there's less certainty and more doubt. Or at least, that's the way it appears. Helping our kids make good choices, guiding them in taking chances, being responsible and creative, teaching them to be their own person and bringing their own oomph to the proceedings – that's a huge deal. I find that it's also rewarding when it works out, that it's meaningful when we hear them say something or watch them do something that's full of possibility and life.
Just some random I-need-a-nap-or-coffee thoughts on a Saturday afternoon.