Thursday, January 10, 2013

Great Minds

The problem with being a know it all is, well, you think you know it all. For those of us who tend to find ourselves lacking in the "shut up and listen for once" department, however, there's good news - people are out there who can help set us straight. I'm not talking about those snarky cynics who point out our flaws in order to fulfill some sadistic craving, either. I'm talking about people with wisdom. Not intelligence. Wisdom.

I've had the pleasure to be around some extremely wise people lately. Some are exceptionally well educated and successful. Others, not so much. All of them, however, possess wisdom. One thing I've learned is that each became wise by acknowledging his or her own fallibility. By admitting they themselves were more or less clueless at the end of the day, they began growing as individuals.

In short: the wisest among us know they don't know much.

As someone who sometimes suffers from know it all syndrome I can't sing the praises of wise people enough. How can you pick out someone with wisdom? Look for humility. These people have screwed up in life as much as the rest of us (sometimes more so) and are willing to admit it. You'll realize right off the bat they don't think they're better than you.

They also like people. That can't be said for everyone walking the earth. Most of us only like some people, after all. Lastly, these individuals are always fighting their own flaws - and aren't afraid to admit it. The time they've spent on the battlefield of true self-improvement (as opposed to the shallow kind) has given them plenty of tricks of the trade - tricks they're willing to share with others.

It's good to search out people with these traits and to get to know them. They make good friends and are good teachers. In fact, they're better teachers than many of us who have spent a small fortune learning how to become certified educators. They also don't give out homework assignments.

That's always important.

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