Don’t be too sure of yourself – poetry for uncertainty

November 22, 2023

by Hagar Harpak

Don’t be so sure of yourself

Look both ways

Look through as many lenses as you can

Look in the opposite direction 

Look at the parts that contradict your view on the matter

Look into what makes you uncomfortable 

Look at it as if it was you in the shoes you are critical of.

Look with honesty

Look with care

Look through the veil of tears

Look into the eyes of your fears 

Don’t be too sure of yourself 

My position isn’t neutral. My position is liquid. It’s not that it doesn’t take shape. It’s that it shapeshifts. Not because I’m confused, but because I’m conflicted. Because it’s not simple. Not clear. Not one sided. 

I’m breaking with a world that divorces itself from itself. 

Not being too sure is how I stay connected. 

Being unsure is how one heart might be able to reach another.


Because the information we get is incomplete

It’s offered through the lens of opinion

It’s often missing some pieces

Which paints a picture of a distorted reality

It’s not that I can’t decide, it’s that wherever I turn my gaze I see the opposite side staring back at me. Wherever I look I see conflicting aspects of the truth. Wherever I turn my head, my eyes land on dichotomy. 

It’s not that I can see every side. No one can.

It’s that each piece reminds me of the enormity of the picture.

It’s that each aspect is a prism.

It’s that each face reflects the face of the other 

It’s not that I’m looking to argue, it’s that almost every piece has another piece that counters it, contradicts it, compliments it, and completes it. 

It’s that the complexity runs so deep 

It’s that to stand behind one is not to forsake the other.

It’s that every piece of the story belongs to a bigger story.

It’s that we all belong to each other

And we forgot it.

It’s that if we’re too sure of ourselves

We will never have peace

Peace and justice require a softening

A questioning

The discomfort of a paradox

The openness of uncertainty

There’s one thing I’m almost sure of

Hate will never ever bring peace 

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