Back in December 2008 I wrote a short blog piece about how every little piece of knowledge you acquire makes you realize there is so much more to know. That piece was inspired by a quote from Bourdain's show about his trip up Macchu Pichu.
There are some things that have changed since that piece was published and there are some things I would change if I were to write it again. But, this article is one of the first things I thought about when I heard that he had died.
If you are suffering from depression, please don't be afraid to talk to someone about it. Your friends are your friends regardless. If you know someone who suffers from depression, reach out to them. Let them know you're there. The world is a better place when we look out for each other.
This is for you, Anthony. May we continue to realize how little we know about the universe in which we live...
The More I Know, The Less I Know
The other night I was watching Anthony Bourdain trekking through Peru and he made a comment (I'm sorry but I don't know who said it first) that the more he learned, the less he knew.
At first it sounded quite paradoxical, but then, as I thought about it, it began to make sense. When we are born we know nothing, our world is the six inches in front of us; but, as we absorb all that we come into contact with, our world expands.
As a child we are the center of our own universes. Everything outside is a mere abstraction. But the more knowledge we absorb the more we come to understand that we are but a small piece in a much larger mosaic.
The same dynamic continues as we move into adulthood. Seven years ago my (now)wife and I spent the holidays backpacking through Spain. In those two-and-a-half weeks I learned a lot about Spain, her traditions and her history, but I also learned a lot about myself, my relationship with my wife and my country. Things kind of fell into perspective as I sat in a church that was built before the pilgrims landed in the Americas for midnight mass.
As a criminal defense attorney I find the more I learn about DWI law, the breath test machine, police coordination tests, jury selection and closing argument, the less I know. Every new door I open up reveals another.
Strive to know less.