We Know We Don't Know

Human nature being what it is, we often tend to crave simplicity. We want emphatic answers. Clear, decisive, and certain. And, pandering to this understandable wish, the Internet has tended to oblige the fantasy that such things exist. Listicles and click bait abound, promising the cure to various ailments and moral quandaries in only a few, easy to implement steps. Happiness demystified on your morning commute!

Reality, of course, is a much more complicated beast to contend with and, as a recent NYT piece by Abigail Zuger illustrates, nowhere is this truer than in the infinitely complex experience of caring for elderly relatives.

To her credit, Zuger makes no attempt to force her observations into a neatly distilled sound bite or takeaway. She simply acknowledges that things are complicated, and it is the work of a lifetime to navigate the terrain—known and unknown—as we try to do what is best for those we care most about.

Hal Ebbott