Monday, July 19, 2021

Some of Your Uncertainty is Wisdom

I was talking to a friend a bit ago and she was saying that she was stuck in the decision cycle and it annoyed her to still be noodling over some things, but also she couldn't figure out the best way forward.  And I said to her, well, some of your uncertainty is wisdom.  
I wasn't trying to be super profound, but the reality is, certainty comes from being able to predict reliably, and this last year plus has shown that many things are not going the way anyone expected them to.  
Uncertainty sucks, and of course, we like to try to think our way out of it.  But sometimes you can't.  I have predictions for what the fall will look like as offices and schools resume more in person gathering, but they are guesses.  I think my guesses on this are better than some other people's but - much like that article about sporting events in the UK, we are going to try a bunch of things and see how they go.  
Obviously people can't stay inside forever, not even the ones who've been privileged to have some say about that.  And everyone who stays inside is relying on those who aren't or can't to some extent.  
We are all weighing risks and making the best choices we can based on the data and our own predictions, but we do still have a limited sample set to work with.  And even when I say I have predictions, I have predictions about infection spread.  I don't know how offices and schools and other businesses will respond.  I don't know how the government - local or federal will respond if infections tick back up.  
We are all trying and this would be less worrisome if real people's lives weren't at stake.  I remember a co-worker saying once, well, we're not brain surgeons, no one's dying today.  Except that we were dealing with prescription files, so like I could pretty easily get to the part where someone's health was at risk.  And the pandemic has been like that.  I know some people have narrowed their focus to themselves because the larger responsibility is too much to think about.  
So uncertainty sucks, but sometimes it is not a failing for you to be uncertain.