Isn’t it funny how much we pretend to know about people? I can’t possibly be the only one to imagine the lives of strangers while waiting in line at the grocery store. But it’s rather terrifying to think about how much we invent about our friends and family and lovers. If we stripped away the make-believe, what truth would be leftover?
But in another sense, as Fyodor Dostoevsky put it: “My friend, it’s impossible to love people as they are.” That real image of compassion and warmth is better left untarnished by the darker parts of every soul. But if we were to open Pandora’s box, what would we come to know?
Consider the difficulty of actually getting to know yourself. Despite knowing everything you think and everything you do, you’re still a mystery to yourself. We look for answers about ourselves for the entirety of our lives, consulting with a myriad sources in search of some impressive discovery. If we truly knew ourselves, decisions that are made in months or years could be made in an instant with complete certainty. Questions of the future would be phrased as how and when, not what. There wouldn’t be the question of what you wanted, simply how you would get it and when.
Should it be possible to know everything about a person, would you want to? Isn’t part of the excitement and beauty of humanity its surrounding mystery? Is love about the truth, or the want of it?