How Can We Know When To Leave-Well-Enough-Alone?

From the Buddha to the Beatles to my old Sicilian aunt Bessie, we have been advised many times to leave well enough alone. It is said in many ways. Wait in harmony with the world…in time there will be an answer, let it be…que sera sera.

There are eight British researchers yoday who would probably agree. Now that it’s too late! Last week they admitted they had killed the world’s oldest living animal, a 507-year-old Icelandic clam, by impatiently prying it open to determine its age. Come on guys, couldn’t you just wait a few more years?

I can’t speak for them, but here’s what I think they might say in their defense. “Humanity is on this earth designed to know everything we can, so the pursuit of knowledge should not be constrained.” It’s a good answer that plays well among fellow researchers all over the world.

Still, Aunt Bessie and the others have a point.

Sometimes the great secret clams in our life would do very nicely without our prying eyes and interfering hands. Here I think of all the school girls I vigorously pursued…all the bosses I repeatedly tried to impress…all the bad deals I forced on family and friends…all in the name of knowing better.

With age comes the time to ask. To ask whether some of these pursuits weren’t really trying to fit square pegs into round holes. swimming upstream rather than going with the flow. placing the Me ahead of the Mystery? You know them — the many large and little mysteries in life like love and faith and missions which deserve to be embraced just as you find them.

I can hear Aunt Bessie saying: “Si, my bambino, si!”

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