Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Not Knowing

For me, one if the most difficult things about the work place, and about life generally, is our inherent struggle to know.

We have jobs where we are supposed to know what to do. We give presentations where we are supposed to know what we are talking about. We are asked questions and are expected to know the answer. In fact, our lives are filled with questions that have answers. If you ask me "What is the capital of Vermont?" or "How do you get to the Whole Foods on River Road?" there is a correct answer. If I ask the guy putting in my sump pump where it should go, I expect an answer.

But most of the really important questions have no clear answers. Why are we here? How are we to be our best in the world? How do we break the gridlock in Washington?

This blog is about presence and mindfulness in the work place, and about our struggles and mistakes and occasional insights. Like gridlock in Washington, there are often no easy answers. But despite my best efforts, I find myself tempted to bring "the" answer to this blog more often than I would like. We want to give and be given the easy answer, or the clear path to follow. If you do x, for y amount of time, then z will happen. But unless you are baking, life just doesn't seem to work that way.

In moments of clarity, I see that that there are no answers. That not knowing can be a strength. Not knowing helps me open to possibilities that I otherwise might not have seen. Not knowing leaves me vulnerable. Not knowing fosters intimacy and connection. For me, these fleeting moments of not knowing have been incredibly moving and powerful. Even in the work place.

I'd invite you to consider the role of not knowing in your own life, and to share your experiences of it.


1 comment:

  1. In this instance, I don't know quite what to say, except that this is beautifully put. Thank you.