I Would Rather Know (Written April 17, 2013)
Things we want most we never have,
Things we have we never want,
Memories we wish would stay,
Memories that haunt.
All of life is filled with these,
Of things we wish were not,
Of things we wish that we could change,
Of dreams that came to naught.
The grass is always greener,
When seen from far away,
So I’d prefer to simple look
Then be there, any day.
For if the scene won’t ever change,
No matter where we go,
If we must make our lives what they are
Wouldn’t you rather know?
I’d never say we shouldn’t dream,
For where would that leave me?
But where would all are dreaming go
If we cannot even see?
We cannot hope for better things
If we don’t know what we have.
We cannot be greatful for current things,
If we don’t know what we had.
How can we know where we’re going
If we don’t know where we are?
And if we don’t know where we’ve been,
We’d never get very far.
A journey is made of many things,
And I’d rather know them all,
But I know I’m on a mighty road,
And am but one traveller small.
But I won’t desire what I don’t know,
Nor seek ‘out’ when I don’t know ‘in,’
Instead I’ll look to find the truth,
And from thence will my quest begin.
Well, that was not what I had set out to write. But, as they say, a story has a life of its own. And this one tells something I have always thought important. How many people do you know who can’t get through a day without complaining about something? Who cannot help but lament their situation? Who talk about how much better things would be if things were different? I’ll admit I do the same, frequently. But that is exactly why I think about it so much. Complaining is so…Well, I want to say something smart, or polite, but the only word that really desccribes it well is “stupid.” Fairly literally, complaining is stupid because it refuses to leave ignorance. The more you complain, and listen to others complain, the clearer it becomes that everybody has something to complain about. Each, in their own measure and time, will come to sufferings and trials that they must face- conversely, we will all come to our triumphs also. So why be stupid? I really can’t bring myself to believe that anybody has any right to say they have it bad is they cannot 1)recognize the pros and cons of thier situation honestly, 2)cannot honestly recognise the pros and cons of both the situations worse than theirs, and those situations better, and 3) cannot name what they want to change and how. Understanding is the key to it all. I don’t mean understanding as akin to sympathy, I mean understanding as akin to knowledge. In knowing what you have, and what others have, and what you want. I suspect if we all stopped to know things properly, we would either stop wasting time complaining and get off our rears so that we can change things, or we would find the complaing was senseless from the start. Understanding is key. Well, what I am failing, as I always do, to say is what Terry Pratchett said best, “It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you don’t know where you are, and if you don’t know where you are, you don’t know where you’re going. And if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re probably going wrong.”
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