That phrase has haunted me ever since my sister in law said it to me when I was 15 years old. "Does anyone really know anyone"? Take a moment to think about this statement. It is amazing to me how many times I'm surprised by people who I presumably "know". The statement had me thinking in a deep way at the young age of 15. Well as deep as a 15 year old is able to accomplish. Today I find myself reflecting on it again.

Does anyone really know anyone?

How long must you have someone in your life in order to really know them? And then even after you have established the set time period, will you be surprised in some way by that person? Specifically if they have qualified themselves inside the predetermined period time frame defined as "knowing".

Is there a time limit before we can identify enough with someone to suggest we really know them? Is there a time limit whereby after you have known someone there is never a surprise? I mean surely after being friends, partners, or being married for 20 plus years there should be no more surprises, right??

The fact that so many friendships, business partnerships, and marriages after many many years break down clearly suggests to me that surprises can come for an infinite period of time. That being said, what does that mean? I mean if this conclusion is true and I believe it is, why try to establish a trusting relationship based on tenure of knowledge. Or in other words "knowing someone". The sync in me says you shouldn't. The stronger self in me says absolutely you should.

I would rather have had one great day with a friend, business partner, or loved one than miss out simply because I was worried and waiting for the surprise to come. I would sooner be pleased that the surprise never arrived than disappointed that I lost out on all those great days and belief in people and never end up surprised.

A tough one. It sure is. A call for belief in your fellow person. Take the high road and believe that you won't be surprised and that you truly do know someone. If you do get surprised when you thought you knew someone and they happen to disappoint you or set you off in some obscure kind of way…….recall the positive memories you experienced in your journey of knowledge while getting to know them. I guess that means take the high road.

It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. It is a choice and that is where the real power is, in everyday choices.

“I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.”

― Plato, The Republic

© 2013-2014 R. Todd Millar. All rights reserved.

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