Is anything ever certain? Are there guarantees? If we inform ourselves to the best of our ability, does that ensure that we will know all that we will need to know?
You know, I've gotten some strange looks when I've admitted that I don't trust anyone, even my husband, 100% with my children. The thing is, he's a phenomenal man and I trust him as much as I do any other human being. He's gentle, kind, loving, patient, understanding and even protective in his way. But I've seen far too many problems arise when people make an assessment, conclude that the person is trustworthy, and then turn a blind eye. I can't and I won't.
The guarantees part is harder for me. For while I know and accept that nothing is certain, I'm human and would like to think there are guarantees. If I do everything "right", will my desired outcome occur? And the answer is an ambiguous one--it may or it may not. The unknown variable here is chance. We can do all we can to ensure a desirable outcome, be it a healthy baby and mom, or "the right" decision, but in the end, there are aspects that we can never control.
There are many matters where certainty isn't required. We accept that there is no certainty when it comes to the weather, or even others' behavior. But when it comes to outcomes important to us, we want certainty.
I was intrigued to be instructed that we were not to seek certainty from the evidence in the recent trial case for which I was a juror. It makes sense now, but I had thought that the jurors "should" feel certain about their conclusions before deciding the fate of another. Now I understand how impossible and unfair this would be.
Having not been there and being unable to know for certain how credible a witness is, whether there was an attempt at deception or simply fuzzy memory about details not thought to be significant at the time, but which now take on great importance, there was more than a bit of faith involved on the part of the jurors.
In the end, we did the best with the information we had at the time. And that's all that we can ever ask of ourselves.
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