To know or not to know?
That’s one intriguing question and an enigma in itself.
Why should you care about ‘knowing’?
Why should you care about ‘not knowing’?
Can you do both?
The irony of the question giggles softly because of the amusing way it is formed. ‘Is it better to know or not to know?’ Why should you know? Why should you know if it is better to know or not? It’s simple, you want to know. This is why that question exists in the first place. Is it better to know or not to know? You want to know that. You yearn to know. Or even precisely, you are curious. Does curiosity give birth to knowledge? You are curious to know, and in doing so, you know.
Maybe that is what it all boils down to. Curiosity.
The funny thing about it is that curiosity is subjective. You might be curious about the sun, you might wonder why it is yellow. You might think of what a person thinks when they stare off into the distance, looking animated. You might want to learn why people do things the way they do, or talk about the sky the way they do, or why a croissant is called a croissant.
Curiosity killed the cat. But why was the cat curious? What was it that the cat just had to know that it toyed with death?
Knowing makes us more human. Makes us more us. Brings us closer to us. If the curious man didn’t stumble upon the idea of tasting cacao, we’d never have chocolate. And where would the world be without chocolate? Good God!
The evolution of mankind lies in the lap of knowing, of learning, of understanding. Of simply being curious, feeding that restlessness and the thirst for knowing. That is what led the explorers to find countries, the chefs to make pasta, the thinkers to formulate concepts, the writers to dance with words, the people to find love.
Knowing gives you hope, clarity, and peace. Because you know tomorrow will be better, you hope there will be a better tomorrow. Because you know that the perfect way to make pancakes is to add loads of honey, you are clear that it will be one good breakfast. And you know that she loves you; you sleep with peace.
Then again, there are the ones who are not curious.
The ones that aren’t excited about the idea of knowing it all. Quoting Penny from The Big Bang Theory, ‘Not knowing is part of the fun.’
Maybe you don’t care why the sun is yellow, you just enjoy sunshine caressing your exposed skin. Maybe you don’t want to learn why the person is staring off into the distance, you just like the way their lips are parted in deep thought. Maybe you just enjoy watching people do things the way they do; maybe you get fascinated by the way people talk about the sky the way they do. Just maybe you are too busy sniffing the scent of fresh croissants wafting in the air to care about why a croissant is called a croissant.
Curiosity killed the cat. Did curiosity really kill the cat? Or, just maybe, it was the knowing. Maybe the cat died because it knew more than it could take.
Not knowing makes us more real. Makes us more believable. Brings us closer to finding us. If you knew everything there is to know, you’d make no mistakes. And where would the world be with no mistakes? Stagnant.
The simplicity of humankind holds hands with not knowing, with imagining, with dreaming. With simply believing things the way they are, plain, raw and real. This is what led the explorers to stumble upon places they never knew, took a breath, the chefs to form new recipes, the thinkers to realize there are so many more concepts, the writers to play with words, the people to live.
Not knowing gives you hope, clarity, and peace. Because you don’t know what you are capable of, there’s hope that you will realize that one day. You don’t know the universe, you are sure you will never wholly understand the stars, but there is clarity that you know they sometimes shine just for you. You don’t know everything, you don’t know the deep dark abyss that the world can sometimes be, and there is peace in that.
Maybe, knowing and not knowing always find a way to intertwine with each other. You know you will not know everything there is to know. You just cannot. It is a mystery, a hauntingly beautiful one. But a mystery, nevertheless. And some mysteries you just cannot solve.
So, is it better to know or to not know? I don’t know.
Do I want to know? I will find that out.
So will you. We all will.