Distillation of wisdom

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  1. Wisdom is a brain full of a lifetime of neural connections and cannot be effectively distilled. Oh, those who have the experiences already may see a little thing like this, and it'll fire off those neural pathways and conjure up meaning, but to a blank slate, those words mean very little.

    This is not a criticism of your bon mot, I love it. It's just the way I think about all proverbs. The classic proverb for this is "A thief believes everyone steals."

    A proverb's power lies in its ability to get to the heart of a matter quickly and help people remember what they already know.

  2. Interesting thoughts, Barry. Any distillation like this has more instantaneous meaning for an experienced mind. However, I'd suggest that it also affords the mind less able to instantly "get it" something pretty valuable, i.e. the opportunity to practice thinking. The act of considering, "What the heck did he mean by that?" is a chance to grow.

    I can't remember who said that you should always try to hang out with people wiser than yourself, but it's quite true. If you find that you're always the smartest guy at the table, then it might be time to broaden your acquaintance. Sharing your own data & knowledge is fun, but it's not very challenging.

  3. Yes, I agree. Pearls of wisdom can be thought provoking. Also, the older and wiser you get, the less you realise you know. I like to think I get dumber by the year.


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