Monday, May 12, 2008

I don't need to know everything, or Why I don't understand the holes the City is digging in my road

My street is under construction, and has been for two weeks running. The City has been systematically making its way from one side of my block to the other, digging up half the road lengthwise. They tell me they are installing new sewers, which I basically understand. I've seen the holes they dug, I've seen the big cement cylinders and the smaller blue cylinders that they put into the big holes they dig. But now they're on their second pass, and this I don't get. They are digging back up the parts they dug last week, which they had covered with gravel (oh the number of dump trucks I've seen!). The workers tell me they now have to reconnect the houses on the other side of my street up to the new sewers.

Now I don't understand all this. I don't know why they didn't just do the connecting the first time they dug, instead of covering up and digging again. And I don't really know what it means to connect a home to a new sewer. I assume it has something to do with pipes into or out of the house, but I don't really get all that.

Anyhow, I was thinking tonite that I don't really care to understand it. After all, it's the homes across the street they're reconnecting, not my home. And while my neighbor across the way was out having long chats with the workmen, I don't really care to know the details. I am, by nature, a very curious person, but I've realized that I am content not knowing every detail about everything.

And this is also my attitude to technology, I've decided. I do not need to be an early adopter of the latest tech toys or the new Web star. I can wait to buy an iPhone (if they ever get to Canada). I didn't have an MP3 player until a few years ago. I only got onto Facebook last year. And I have no interest in Twitter, even though a social media expert I heard speak tonite says it is the next big thing.

I like to know the basics. I understand what Twitter is and how it's being used, but I don't need to know every detail. I understand that the work on my street is about installing new sewers, but I don't need to know exactly what's in the holes they dug.

I don't think this is a lack of curiosity on my part, but rather a mellowing that has come with age. I've realized that it's a big world out there and I cannot know it all. When I was 25, I think I thought I could know everything if I just tried hard enough. Now I know I can't be an expert on everything. I'll never understand Chinese politics or astrophysics or how cricket is played. I have learned some limitations to my knowledge, and I'm okay with it. I know I could find the answers if it were important to me, but I also know I don't have to know it all.

I guess that's a sign of maturity, right?

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