Certainty

Iona / North Arm

“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is an absurd one.” — Voltaire

Birding teaches you quickly that your perception and judgement are unstable and easily fooled. A talented birder has remarkable ability to see only what they see and hear only what they hear. Dropping our mental chatter and expectations when looking at birds (or butterflies, mushrooms, snakes, or anything at all) brings us outside ourselves.

Beware of birders or anyone else who claim certainty. In both the world of nature and knowledge we must tread lightly. We must be honest with others, and especially ourselves, that there is always some mystery.

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