Still Surprised?

In a wonderful book called “The Black Swan”, Nassim Nicholas Taleb makes some strong statements. He challenges us to consider exactly how smart we are; and what is it that makes us think we are “smart”? Though he doesn’t explicitly quote him, he reminds me of the line in the Paul Simon song: It’s just imagination they lack. Everything’s the same back in my little town.

“Living on the planet today,” writes Taleb, “requires a lot more imagination that we are made to have.” We continue to be surprised, he writes, because we have no affinity for the outliers in life. While it seems a bit circular, he suggests that the only things we know about are the things we already know about. And we become quite satisfied with what we know – or what we think we know.

I think of it this way – life is much like the ocean. We are somewhat adept at riding the surface and staying afloat; but we don’t know nearly as much as we could about what lies below. It is estimated that 95% of the ocean remains to be explored! What has kept us from going down there? Remember the surprise of Jesus’ parents when they discovered him as a boy talking with the elders in the Temple? Note his response: Didn’t you know I must be in my Father’s house? What are the surprises that await us – the ones we should already know about!

Still Surprised ?!

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