Surprise is what we live when we meet the unknown.
You are surprised because you are hit by “something else”; something new, unexpected, unfamiliar, unprepared and even unconceived.
Significant surprise is a life event. Neglect this subject and your fate may be of the led and of the losers.
The surprised lose initiative, stumble and take hasty decisions they will regret. They submit to choices crafted by other people while surprisers gain advantage. The surprised will take as given things they should think over.
Being surprised is a situation of temporary inferiority: judgement is impaired, errors often made, opportunities lost and bad relationships started unwillingly.
We need an education for surprise and we had none. We need a Practical Method fit to to deal with the unknown, a Pragmatic of Surprise, but there is none.
Modern schooling is about what was known before, what can be measured and foreseen to be planned, not about negatives like uncertainty and the unknown. Instruction works to eliminate surprise from our life; it aims to foresee everything and to prevent disorder. Most human endeavour is to keep the world under control. We are not formally educated for the unplanned side of life. With people brought up like this, surprises appear as noise or mishap, given by the inevitable complexity of the Universe if not by Fate. What else to do with the unexpected than to prevent it or suffer it?
I claim that we can do better: we can prepare against surprise, for surprise and we can even prepare the surprise ourselves.
James Carse pointed at the solution some time ago: "To be prepared against surprise is to be trained. To be prepared for surprise is to be educated."
If you want to read more about this, it is here.
 Carse, J.P., “Finite and Infinite Games”, The Free Press, New York, 1986