Mora Than We’ll Ever Know

nobody knows - February 25, 2013m

“You don’t know.  You just don’t know.  You may think you know, but you don’t.  And you never will.”

I must admit, I still take delight in that rant delivered by coach Jim Mora to the media, years ago, after his team, the New Orleans Saints, had suffered another defeat.

When I look back at past encounters, I often imagine myself saying those same words…

…to those who thought they knew me so well…

…even though we’d probably just met.

To me, Mora’s message to the press was: you just can’t imagine all that we do, how thoroughly we prepare for a game, how hard we work…

…because if you did, you’d show a little mercy—a little more intelligence and a little more respect—after a loss like this one.

I can understand those feelings.  For myself, I would given a similar speech: “You can’t imagine all that’s inside me, all I’ve done, all I’ve gone through, how hard I’ve worked to deal with this life.”

But let me be clear: I don’t see myself as a special case…

Any human being on this Earth has the right to say the same…

…especially to someone who’d reduce her to a superficiality.

However, if I say to you, “you can’t know all that’s within me”, I should also admit that neither can I.  Otherwise, I’m just defending a hurt ego.

It’s ironic: the more I learn about myself, the more I realize there’s so much I don’t know—so much that I will never know.

Here’s another irony, to admit that we don’t know creates more understanding.

If I think I know you from the start, then why should I try to learn about you?  I might as well stick a label on you and file you away.

I believe we, in the U.S., often view other countries, other cultures in this way: we think we see, we think we know, but we don’t.  We think we know, so we don’t try to learn.

I’ll take Mora’s statement even further: we can’t know all there is to know about anything…

After all, everything in our world is a part of the same Universe…

…a deeply mysterious Universe…a Universe we know so little about…

…and what little we know keeps changing.

Yet, like any heroic ant, we keep trying to understand what we can never fully understand.  I think the drive to know is a part of our survival mechanism.  To try to know, to understand, is necessary to our well-being…

But this desire often collides with the opposite desire: to feel secure in what we think we know.

Yes, it’s doozy of a conflict.  Our survival may actually depend on admitting to ourselves that we’re not so smart as we think we are.

In that case, perhaps Mora’s admonition belongs in our new mythology…

One more irony: this rant from a former pro football coach could lead us to a sense of humility, to a sense of wonder.

Isn’t that where the world’s religions also lead us: to the realization of just how small and puny we are…

…in a Universe so vast, so powerful?

But if we do include Mora’s statement, I’d like to make one important change: take out “you” and insert “we”:

“We don’t know.  We just don’t know.  We may think we know, but we don’t.  And we never will.”

© 2013, Michael R. Patton
dreaming steps


About Michael Patton

I am a poet, novelist, and fabulist...A new mythologist, a peace miller, a dream worker...I don't qualify as an illustrator or photographer--I just "make pictures"...I have thirteen books available at amazon... I currently reside in northwest Arkansas, but have lived and worked all over the United States... I'm self-taught, for the most part--which is like searching for the right door in the dark. It's an on-going process.... I don't want to write MY story, I want OUR story, so that's what I'm studying: the human story: past, present, future, in its many aspects--including the spiritual. I'm proceeding at a slow crawl.... I don't see the inner world and outer world as separate. By learning about myself, I learn about others, I learn about my world.... Conversely, as I struggle to understand what I see OUT THERE, I learn about myself.... But to be clear: I don't claim any special understanding. I'm still purblind, still only half-awake.... After frustrating experience with the publisher of my first novel, I've published on my own, beginning with e-books, with plans to move into print and audio. Even video.... Along with a second novel, I've now published eight books of poetry. Each poetry book focuses on a theme. For instance, the collection GLORIOUS TEDIOUS TRANSFORMATION is about the slow difficult wonderful process of change.... In that book, as with all my work, I try to be accessible to a general audience, while also striving to achieve a certain literary quality.
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