Essential questions

Since the age of 18, I have been touched by the wisdom of philosophers. Ludwig Wittgenstein, so complex, but he intrigued me enormously. Yesterday I came across a text from him, and I remembered why the man touched me so much.

“One human being can be a complete enigma to another. We learn this when we come into a strange country with entirely strange traditions, and what is more, even give mastery of the nation’s language. We do not understand the people.”

Especially the first sentence, “one person can be a complete mystery to another,” is what drives me to want to meet people, to listen to them to learn, to try to understand. What an enormous necessity I feel about choosing this in a world where there is so much polarization.

We will have to go down different paths, but how can we find new ways if we don’t know why we ever took specific directions? Or is it not that necessary? For me, historical awareness is the basis for solving the enormous knowledge puzzles that lie ahead in our society. How can we start a conversation about value puzzles, judgments, and solutions?

I don’t want to move by running away from problems, nor do I want to search diligently for THE best solution or THE way to restore my comfort.

I believe that if I can hold out a little in the sometimes awkwardness of life and allow myself to continue to think carefully, valuable perspectives arise again and again. Asking essential questions and listening is so much more important to me than seeking answers.

Illustration: Three Perspectives on Truth, by Max Gunnar.