Howard Thurman introduced me to a new (well, old, but new to me) phrase today, Quod Erat Demonstrandum. That is of course Latin, abbreviated as Q.E.D. It means “what was to be demonstrated” or “what was to be shown,” and the abbreviation is typically placed at the end of an equation or a philosophical argument to emphasize completeness – sort of like a smug exclamation point, or in modern terms, a “mike drop” or perhaps even a Forest Gump “and that’s all I have to say about that.”
Without stating it expressly, Thurman points to the absurdity of this phrase/abbreviation: “Life is essentially dynamic and alive…. All judgments concerning experience are limited and partial.”
That is or can be a bit of a tough pill to swallow – all our judgments “are limited and partial.” Which takes me to a colloquialism my wife and I repeat often, usually in wonderment at some surprise – “You don’t never know.” This is, for emphasis, typically followed by – “You think you do, but you don’t.”
All that to say Thurman is correct. We really don’t never know. We think we do, but we don’t.