What I Know for Sure

Thank you to Akiko Kobayashi (Japan) for this photograph.


This title will sound familiar to fans of Oprah Winfrey. I admire Oprah, but have not followed her closely over the past several years, so when one of our readers suggested this topic, I admit that I had to do a little research. Cindi, a loyal follower of Crooked Creek, has added valuable feedback and encouragement, so I knew that I should take her suggestion seriously. 

Oprah has written a book on this subject and it was a success as just about everything is which she attempts. You can read the top 20 things she “knows” at: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/the-top-20-things-oprah-knows-for-sure

A book of things I know for sure would be a very short one, but I will attempt to come up with my top twenty. Rest assured, I do not consider myself anything like this famous and successful woman known the world over, but I do believe that this is a subject worthy our consideration, yours and mine. As we explore together, please share with us what you know for sure. 

More Gray than I Realized

When I was much younger there were so many things I was sure were true. As someone has said, “Often wrong, but never in doubt.”  That was me. Either black or white! I knew things. Things I had been taught, things I read in the Bible, things I felt in my bones. Looking back I can see how that was not only naive, but arrogant. Education, both formal and day-to-day experiences, prove repeatedly how little I know for sure. Some of my strongest opinions have bitten the dust, because they were just that, opinions. 

I remember taking a required philosophy course at The University of Louisville back in the 1970s and experiencing a major revelation during the first days. The professor, speaking from his wheel-chair, in front of about fifty students would present topic after topic from various angles. About the time I became convinced of one of his assertions he would quietly say, “But on the other hand” and then convince me of just the opposite. It wasn’t that I was easy, it was that he was good. After a few weeks of exposure to his fairness and uncomplicated brilliance I clearly saw how little I knew for sure. This does not mean that we do not have things we believe and believe in, but to me at least, it does mean that most subjects and opinions can be debated and looked at from other points of view. Our real truths will not be diluted by serious scrutiny, but we may be able to better understand another’s position. 

What I Know for Sure

The fact that I have a blog and that I like to share my thoughts and experiences must mean that I think I know something, right? No doubt it comes across that way and those who know me personally will quickly add that I am opinionated. So there, I’ve outed myself before anyone else has the chance. Before we go out too far on a serious path like Oprah though, I want to say that some of the things I know for sure are not earth shattering, but trivial. I’m going to share them anyway. Feel free to do the same. Collectively, I am sure we know many things, big and small. I’m going to start with the number one thing I know for sure and see how far we get today after that.

  1. There are few things of which I am 100% sure, but one of those certainties is the fact that I love my family with all my heart. My guess is that you love yours in that way, too. Many, if not most, things change over our lifetimes. This has not. 
  2. Having time alone is a necessity for me, but I sometimes forget how much I need to be with people. There are those who renew their energy by being with people, by talking and laughing and playing games. Those folks would simply dry up if they had to be alone for long. Others of us need time of quiet and calm at regular intervals or we become anxious and distracted. There are tests that show which type of person we are and each is labeled as some type of introvert or extrovert, but we don’t really need a Myers-Briggs or other personality test to know our personal requirements. Still, if interested here is one of those quizzes to reveal more than you probably want to know:  http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp
  3. Native Americans should not be called Indians. Columbus was mistaken. He did not land in India. If Native Americans want to use the term “Indian” they have that right, we do not. Why do we even celebrate Columbus Day? After all the suffering of this country’s indigenous people perhaps we should have a “First Peoples Day” instead.
  4. Dish towels and dish cloths should not be laundered with bath towels, underwear or other laundry. Please don’t ask me to explain. 

This is where I need to leave it for today. Perhaps I should apologize, because I have been thinking of this post for weeks and weeks and this is as far as I’ve gotten. These are the few things I know for sure as of today. I’m thinking as hard as I can and I know there are others to add to this list, I’m just not sure of them yet. 

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.

(Author unknown)

Part 1 of 4


12 thoughts on “What I Know for Sure

  1. This is a very interesting topic and one I have often pondered.
    The older I’ve gotten, and the more I have experienced of life, I feel the LESS I know for sure. I do agree, that at the top of the list would be my love for my family, and also their love for me. And I would like to
    extend this to include a number of very special friends.
    I also know for sure that I am but a microscopic speck in the great macrocosm of the universe, but that my existence has had a purpose, and that I have had an affect on everything and everyone around me.
    I also know for sure that life is based completely on fluctuation….and as much as we’d like to think, we are not in control; at least not on the grand scale of things.
    I leave these thoughts here for now and ponder this subject more as the days go by.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sue, I’m so glad you’ve decided to share what you know. You are like E.F. Hutton….. when you talk people listen. I look forward to the next installment. What I know for sure is that Life IS worth living. And yes it is painfully difficult at times but the Sun always rises. Light transforms the darkness. It appears through a smile, a kind word, a gentle touch, making eye contact. Any form of acknowledgement will do. Sometimes we are the light, other times we are the darkness. Life IS worth living. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing what you know for sure and for suggesting this topic. I look forward to hearing more of your ideas and the things you know. You are definitely the “light” and I certainly agree that “life IS worth living”!


  3. I love this topic and hearing what you know for sure. I would add that I know for sure I am a morning person. The longer the counseling day the less I should charge. I know God is real and capable of a person relationship with people – I can’t even come close to understanding it but I’ve experienced adequate evidence of it I cannot deny.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your thoughts on this subject. This gave me cause to question whether I am a morning or night person and it seems this has changed for me along with so many other things. In my old age I have become a night person! Around midnight I start trying to justify one more TV program, another book chapter or going to the computer to check on April the pregnant giraffe.


  4. Life keeps changing as I get older. I really can’t be sure about anything anymore.
    Even my heroes I find, were not heroes after all.
    But I can honestly say that the one thing I know for sure.
    What a true friend is, and that will never change.

    A true friend is one who lifts you when your down. Listens to your problems,
    is caring and encouraging.
    She will get out her trusty busy calendar, and set aside a time and day to be with her friend.
    How special is that.. how lucky am I .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Please tell us more about your heroes that have fallen. Anyone we know? And, thank you for sharing about what a true friend is and I would add that only a friend to others has true friends of their own.


  5. I grew up thinking Christopher Columbus was a hero..probably from my
    Italian heritage.
    My grandmother was so proud that an Italian discovered America..

    Columbus Day marks the beginning of recorded history in America.
    Millions of European migrants came here bringing their music, art, science,
    medicine and religious principles that shaped the United States.

    Yes, I know there was a lot of bad going on; and what we did to the Native Americans.
    I add them to my hero list, because they fought for their country.

    When you dig up graves, you usually find skeletons….
    Probably many other heroes would be lost too !

    Help people ! you must know something for sure.
    Get me out of this mess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for explaining about your hero. I guess this further proves something I said long ago here on Crooked Creek, “Words Matter”. Who would have thought that my words about Christopher Columbus would shake someone’s vision of their heritage. All that you said about this world changing sailor is still true. The fact that he was lost doesn’t change that. In fact, many men get lost and they are still good men. We know they never ask for directions so it is no wonder that he missed the continent he was shooting for and, to save face the First People of America have been called Indians ever since. I totally understand his predicament and I totally agree about all that immigrants have brought to this country, including the wonderful Italians. Without them (us) it would not be the wonderful country we love. Have no fear, we will always celebrate Columbus Day!


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