I have a very bad habit. When talking to someone I often say; ’I know that you…’ When I may or may not actually know. Who is to say what someone else thinks or says or does means what we think it does? I always have prided myself in relating to others in a very intimate way. Trying to truly listen and understand where they are coming from, but sometimes –oh my God-I am wrong! There, I’ve admitted it. I do not know everything.
Sometimes a character in a story will even call me out on this. If I try to force words into their mouths they will let me know it is wrong. A line of a dialogue that just doesn’t seem right and it can’t just be edited out, it must be changed to fit. Their words, not mine.
When we claim to know or understand someone are we really just pushing our views or beliefs on to them? Trying to mold their thoughts into what we want them to be? Promoting an outcome we desire or even encouraging them to change their mind? Is it the highest form of narcissism or an honest effort at empathy?
Faith believes without proof. So do we need to know without a shred of doubt or simply believe more? I have spent time in both camps and found them equally capable of producing results. Learning, growing and seeking are all essential to understanding and understanding brings comfort, but knowing, for sure and certain, is not always the best thing. On the other hand, believing creates hope and hope will always move us forward. I may not know everything, may not know anything, but I believe I am headed in the right direction, so I will continue to move forward.