LIVING WITH AMBIGUITY

Japanese people are sticklers for punctuality but they know how to live with ambiguity. We hate to say “No.” In stead, we say something like “Yeah, but.” Correct answer can wait if it breaks up relationship. Japanese language does not have definite article nor indefinite article. So I had no idea what the fuss was all about when elected delegates spent many hours debating passionately if the Bible is a foundation or the foundation of faith at a United Church’s highest decision making court – General Council. I am happy if it is approximately close to what-ever. I don’t apologize for my imprecise sloppy logic, because flexibility lets us avoid needless quarrel. We live in ambiguity for a while until mist dissipates and the answer presents itself. Time will tell. Why fight?

All is relative. A veterinarian’s examination room has a sign, “A year for a human is six years for a cat. When you go away for a week, your cat will suffer your absence for six weeks.” One minute is just like a flash. But two minute silence at Remembrance Day ceremony feels like eternity. When you get old, time passes very quickly. But when you are a teenager waiting for a girl friend, it feels like forever. It’s all relative. Or could it be time is uneven? There is no such thing as an absolutely straight line, because the earth is round. The shortest line between point A to point B is curved. What seems reality for you may not exist. A star you see could be billions of light-years away. So it could be billions of years old: It may no longer be there. Will the world exist after I die?

I think that over-emphasis on accuracy, correctness, or precision is a source of unnecessary anxiety and many disputes. We waste countless hours fighting over trivial things, causing break-up of relationships and hurting people. Fighting is even more serious when it comes to religious doctrine or government policy. Humans have killed each other over customs, policies, and religious doctrines, or even clothes, over stupid differences. It’s all because of our obsession with precision; like a or the. As time passes, many of those disputes begin to look silly. We are all living things on the same planet. Can we not live with ambiguity until you can see it more clearly in a bigger picture?

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