Crystal Ball

Uncertainty is a persistent distraction, in my life and in yours.  An anchor on an aimless ship that otherwise meanders through the events of our lives.  It feels comforting to know what to expect, even if it stifles our potential for a future.  Courage is required to overcome this impulse to maintain a status quo.  

Lately, residences of the Ukraine retire for the evening not knowing who will govern them in the morning.  If this were your simple political election it would feel relatively predictable.  Fundamental governing philosophies don’t change, just methodologies derived from differing philosophies may be different.  However, these people sit with democracy on one side juxtaposed to the polar opposite of communism on the other.  Both exist with the underlying intent of offering benefits to the constituents.  Neither are inordinately evil or good, and they both have their own share of corruption and moral disparities.   I imagine it must be surreal for the residences of this volatile nation to have to confront this dichotomy of approaches, facing rough seas in both directions, always on the brink of overturn.

This situation is extreme and unnerving for even the most dispassionate, but there are less dramatic events that similarly drive us to this need to mitigate uncertainty.  Indeed, uncertainty seems to conflict with our nature as human beings.

For those that believe that we evolved from some other, less developed being, it would make sense to have an innate aversion to uncertainty.  In an uncivilized environment, uncertainty can translate into death.  Possibly this is where the emotional reaction came from.

There are so many, very small characteristics of daily, civilized living that are derived from fear of uncertainty.  Some that immediately come to mind are daily rituals, checking for weather (when half the time the predictions are wrong anyway), religion, and doing things that ultimately have very little meaning in our lives.  Without these aspects of daily life, it seems to me that life would encompass a continuing string of chaotic events.

I even wrote about labeling in an earlier post, and how our minds process information this way to simplify our ability to understand the world.  Labeling is yet another tactic to mitigate that restless feeling that associates uncertainty.  Nobody can escape it.  It is a profound part of who we are.

I am notorious for my neuroses, and I do so to offer some perception of control in my life.  In the final analysis, my frontal cortex is acutely aware that ultimately there is no certainty.  We are simply the recipients of a fate that nobody can predict.


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