Knowledge and fear are intimately connected. Often, the less you know, the more you fear.
In the absence of knowledge, we tend to ask a lot of questions, we create a lot of noise in our heads. Questions in and of themselves aren’t bad — in fact they’re actually some of my favorite things — but when we don’t answer them, we get thrust into a swirl of what ifs, maybes, and long-term scenarios (none of which, of course, may turn out out to be true).
All that doubt leads to fear — and fear leads to inaction.
My relationship with fear is a long-standing one (more on that some other time), but it’s taught me something critically important: The antidote to fear is knowledge.
So yes, I ask a lot of questions (which is no doubt exhausting to those I ask them of…), but they’re questions meant to eliminate my own fear, or doubt, or wonder, at what’s in front of me.
Just as often, I’m asking questions to reduce the fear in someone else. To reduce the noise in their heads.
Ultimately, my curiosity is a pursuit of quiet. Of a mental state that’s free of worry, of fear, of doubt, and all the noise they create. A state where questions become answers, ideas become action, where wonder becomes reality.
Sometimes we fear knowledge itself. We fear a reaction. Or reality. We fear that what is will eliminate what might be.
But I’ve learned not to see it that way.
Knowledge doesn’t remove possibility, it cements it. It lets us focus our attention on what actually can be – and that lets us act (or in some cases, choose to not act — which is itself an action). It lets us do, move, move on.
The more you know, the less you fear.
The less you fear, the more you’ll do.