What Do You Predict?
The more I learn, the more I learn how little I know. — Socrates The more you know, the less you understand. — Lao-Tse
The future doesn’t exist, so the future of uncertainty doesn’t exist. No one knows what it will be. To me it seems likely that uncertainty will continue, probably increase. The future world is expected to bring more complexity, which brings more uncertainty and more unknown. So what does this mean? The unknown future of uncertainty means we have to develop ways of dealing with this uncertainty and the unknown, and even become comfortable with what we don’t understand.
In an increasingly complex, unpredictable world, what matters most isn’t I Q, willpower, or confidence in what we know. It’s how we deal with what we don’t understand. Jamie Holmes in Nonsense, 2015
I have written a lot about what we don’t know and don’t understand; so have many others. Abraham Maslow once said: We have a need to know and a fear of knowing. He was speaking about self-knowledge, knowing oneself. However, when it comes to other knowledge, it seems we have a need to know and a fear of not knowing, which leads to a strong desire for certainty. This will not serve us well in our complex, unpredictable future world. Here is brief sampling of what some others have been saying about uncertainty:
We live in a complex world; we often don’t know what’s going on; and we won’t be able to understand its complexity unless we spend more time not knowing. Margaret Wheatley
The truth is that we cannot avoid uncertainty. This not-knowing is part of the adventure. It is also what makes us afraid. Pena Chodron
Man’s natural state is not doubt, but credulity — a combination of suggestibility in the face of whatever is clearly and strongly presented, and the will-to-believe whatever is personally and socially congenial. Harold Larrabee in Reliable Knowledge,1945
Ralph W. Sockman has called what we know “An island of knowledge”. The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder. Wonder: one that arouses awe, astonishment, surprise, or admiration; a marvel, (Dictionary).
A future strategy for living in this increasingly complex, unpredictable, uncertain future world may be to see it with wonder, awe, and admiration. If the future were certain, there would be no need for future strategies; there would be nothing we could do about it. So, feel positive about the uncertainty, and believe you have a role in creating our future.
Life is not a puzzle to be solved but a mystery to be lived. Thomas Merton