What it means to know someone?

In this 7 billion variation of people I think what it really means to know someone? I wonder what I really know about anybody. What do I know even about myself?
Almost every person I have ever known have surprised me at one point of my life or the other. I trust someone he betrays but at the same time when I become skeptic of someone he appears to be worthy of my trust.
That even includes myself. The things I thought would be easy for me, turn out to be very hard and hard things turn out to be easy.
It seems like I have poor knowledge of myself and everybody. I cannot say what I would do at a certain scenario. The things I do sometimes take me by surprise.
That makes me wonder what it means when a person says “I know him/her” does he mean he knows her phone number? , he knows her face? , or he trying to say that two of them have met once or many times before.

“You cannot step into the same river twice”- Heraclitus

Heraclitus who identified change as the essence of universe says beautiful and famous quote about river. It can very well be applied to a person. We can go on and say you cannot meet a same person twice. They are ever changing and so are you. The moment you find them in certain mood will never occur twice. Even they seem to be on similar mood in the second instant it is just a reflection of original having some resemblance but never being exactly the same. Just like the river is same but water is ever different, a person is same but the content within him is ever changing.

To fully know a river means to acknowledge its changing water.
To know a person means keeping our view of their nature of change in the center stage. To acknowledge that we can never be with this person in the same way we are being with now. The people we meet will never be same when we meet them the next time.
If we go on assuming that we fully know someone that is very first step in not really knowing them.

The great american historian Daniel J. Boorstin  knew knowledge as the seed of ignorance when he said “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” When applied to our everyday knowledge of people we arrive at a beautiful irony that

The more we think we know a person the more we are moving away from really knowing him. 


Thank you for reading this far

May peace be with you


5 thoughts on “What it means to know someone?

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