The inspiration for this Friday 2 on 1 post came as I was listening to the old classic “Those Were The Days” by Mary Hopkins. The last verse of the song goes:
“Through the door there came familiar laughter
I saw your face and heard you call my name
Oh, my friend, we’re older but no wiser
For in our hearts, the dreams are still the same.”
Wisdom is defined as “the ability to use your knowledge and experience to make good decisions and judgements”. This of course implies that one has gained knowledge over the years and has also had enough experiences during that process. In my personal case I find that while I have gained a great deal of book knowledge, my experiences do not somehow enable me to take sensible decisions and / or make good judgments. But, believe me the dreams are still the same as they were when I was younger. Only, now I am wise enough to know that there simply isn’t enough time to make them come true.
I am often surprised by the amount of practical knowledge that people much younger have over the current state of affairs which despite my seniority seems to have eluded me. This, despite my devouring newspapers and periodicals more than the younger lot do who are more dependent on the social media and television plus friends and actual live exposures to the daily grind.
Experience and wisdom, leave alone age is best explained by this Sufi tale.
An old man caught a bird. The bird said to him, “Release me, and I will give you three valuable pieces of advice. I will give you the first when you let me go, the second when I fly up to that branch, and the third when I fly up to the top of the tree.”
The man agreed, and let the bird go.
Now free, the bird said, “Do not torture, torment and burden yourself with excessive regret for past mistakes.”
The bird then flew up to a branch and said,
“Do not believe anything that goes against common sense, unless you have firsthand proof.”
Then the bird flew up to the top of the big tree and said, “You fool. I have two huge jewels inside of me. If you had killed me instead of letting me go, you would have been rich.”
“Darn it!” the man exclaimed. “How could I have been so stupid? I am never going to get over this. Bird, can you at least give me the third piece of advice as a consolation?”
The bird replied, “I was merely testing you. You are asking for further advice, yet you already disregarded the first two pieces of advice I gave you. First, I told you not to torment yourself with excessive regret for past mistakes, and second I told you not to believe things that go against common sense unless there is firsthand proof.
And yet, you just tormented yourself with regret for letting me go, and you also believed that somehow there are two huge jewels inside a tiny bird like me!
So here now is your third piece of advice: “If you are not applying what you already know, why are you so intent on gaining what you do not know?”
Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say about the subject. Thank you.