I wish I understood

As a person who greatly values personal liberties, I think the right to ask questions is extremely important. As you can tell by the nature of this blog…I ask tons of questions. While I do not always say them out loud, I am always thinking, in my head, how things work, why things are a certain way, and if they could/should be changed. This can get annoying to others. It can also be annoying to me.

There is so much in this world I do not understand. I think that is one of the most interesting/scary parts about growing up. There is just so much out there. When you really think about it, there are several lifetimes and generations of questions/mysteries out there to think about.

I have a longing to understand and also be understood. This essay is not about me. It is about everything else. And there is so so much of everything else.

The paradox is that no matter what, we can never understand everything. But do I wish I understood everything?

We often wish for more:

I wish I spoke Chinese while in China. Thai while in Thailand. Japanese while in Japan. French while in France. I wish I was better at math. And more athletic. And more interesting.

But that is wanting qualities/things.

What I more realistically and actionably crave, is the desire to understand.

I desire to understand the path to learning Chinese, or becoming more athletic, or becoming better at math.

I can learn that. I can learn what it takes. I can try and empathize with the journey of doing these hard things before actually doing them.

Understanding – therefore – is actually attainable on many levels.

Also published on Medium.