On Answers

Questions? Answers?
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This thought relates to the previous one on easy answers. So many want easy yes/no answers to complex problems. It ain’t gonna happen.

But it gets worse.

There are things that are unanswerable, easy or otherwise.

“Why did this happen?” is the most common example. Be it for closure, for future avoidance, protection, or something else, people want answers.

Sometimes there are no answers.

Shit happens.

I suppose that’s an answer.

The problem is people will spend incredible amounts of time and energy, and often money, searching for answers that simply do not exist.

I get it. It’s hard to accept that there might not be an answer to something, particularly if that something has affected your life in some meaningful way. And yet, the fact remains: there often are no answers to be found.

Often the best thing, the most pragmatic thing, is to simply accept it and be willing to be at peace with not knowing.

Accept ambiguity. Accept not having an answer at all.

The need to understand is such a powerful motivator. It’s what led to the rise of religion. People needed answers to things beyond their ability to understand. For these things, there were no answers. So they made ’em up. It helped them sleep at night. It gave their world meaning and purpose.

Perhaps someday there will be answers to some of the things currently beyond our ability to reason. But for today, for those things, there are no answers.

And of course, there are things that will always be unanswerable.

Like, “why did this happen?”

Shit happens. That’s why.

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