The Path From Foolishness To Wisdom

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‘If you don’t know, ask. You will be a fool for the moment, but a wise man for the rest of your life.’ Seneca (4BC – AD65)

Some while ago I proposed something of significant importance to an individual whom I loved and respected, and yet their initial response was far from positive, based upon some emotional triggers that arose from circumstances that had both been beyond our total control.

The first thing I thought was. ‘Why didn’t they simply ask questions, before making up their mind?’

So often we react without first investigating the fullness of what is being presented to us. And in doing so we could most likely miss out on some of the greatest opportunities in our lifetime.

And that is why, before making decisions that will determine our destiny, it is so important that we become the fool for a brief moment by asking the right questions – and at times obvious questions with possibly obvious answers – but in doing so we are positioning ourselves to receive great wisdom, and the establishment of sure foundations upon which we can build our lives.

I am always reminded of my high-school buddy John Smartt. Smartt with a double t, and he was, even as a teenager, doubly smart.  John questioned everything, and it was his example that challenged me to not simply accept everything that was thrust in my direction, or what was accepted by the status quo, but to rather question everything. This part of questioning, I have since learnt,  is the pathway to wisdom.

I have used this life skill in sales, in study, in research, in analysis, and in rightly dividing what even the so-called experts in their fields are espousing. I have found this one thing, that no matter what title a man or woman commands, they are still human, and they can make mistakes. If I follow their direction without first questioning, then I am the one who will be held responsible for the results. I am, and must be, responsible for my own thoughts and for my own conclusions.

The more we question, and the deeper we dig, through the refined art of questioning, the wiser we will all become.

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