Are you the type of person that chooses who to listen to? If someone tries to share a piece of truth with you, do you immediately disregard what this person has to say based upon this person’s lifestyle or their stance in life? Do you gladly accept correction from others, or do you judge their qualifications on giving such correction?
A friend of mine bounced up to me one day, eager to share a new piece of information with me that he’d just learnt. His professor had shared four words with him, and he thought it was so profound that he had to share it with others.
Those four words being: the truth is external.
While he explained the phrase to me, that the truth is normallyoutside of the person
telling it, I nodded, agreeing that it was profound, but was inwardly thinking,
“Not much of a philosophical profundity there, bro. It’s just…common sense.”
Once he was gone though, I began pondering about it. About the fact that even though I knew that truth is external, I really didn’t take heed to it. Because I, too, was one of those people who chose who to take any form of advice and correction from. I, too, was usually quick to judge anyone who attempted to correct me, thinking, “Why would this person try to correct me when their life isn’t any better?”
Just because someone is not exactly living what they are teaching, does it mean that what they teach isn’t the truth? Is it the person’s life we should hone in on, or is it the helpful piece of knowledge that they are spewing?
I once dated a guy who loved to converse. Heseriously loved to talk. The guy would sit and have a conversation with just about anyone. From a two year old, to an old lady, to a homeless person. As long as one had lips and ears that worked, he would plop down, anywhere, and just fire up a conversation.
Why does he do this?
I wondered, too.
Well, he believes that everyone has something to say. He believes that having conversations with merely one category of people would render him one dimensional with only one manner of thinking. He believes that with every conversation he engages himself in, he learns something new. He believes that, by doing this, he gets to see the world from everyone’s point of view. Many a times he would call to tell me of the conversations he’d had with people for the day, ready to share what a homeless man/woman taught him. Sometimes I’d be wondering, “What on earth could a homeless person possibly have to tell me?”, “Why on earth would I plop down on a
piece of cardboard on a sidewalk and listen to a thing he/she has to say?”
Then I’d be blown away by the words of wisdom he’d gained from these people.
I thought about the truth being external and I agreed that not because these people are homeless, does it mean that what they speak is folly. Not because a two year old is nothing but a two year old, does it mean that if he/she says, “Daddy kwissed mommy’s bwesfwen on the lips” does it mean that this two year old doesn’t know what he/she is talking about.
In medieval times, kings or noblemen hired fools/jesters to entertain them. These fools/jesters were also responsible for cheering up their sullen or doleful master by singing or speaking ‘gibberish’.
If you have read any of Shakespeare’s plays, then you might be familiar with the term ‘wise-fool’. The Fool is usually the wisest character of the play, but the Fool’s wisdom is normally overlooked by the other characters because, of course, a Fool is just a fool, right? What business does a fool have being wise?
The Fool’s wisdom is only recognized by the audience watching the play, because they, too, being the audience, knows that what the Fool is saying is true. What the characters can’t see for themselves, the audience can.
Consider yourself being a character of a play. Someone of no standard, a Fool maybe, tries to pass on a piece of truth to you. But you, knowing your standard is higher than this person’s, instantly disregard it. Who, then, is the true fool there?
In our own eyes, we will never be able to see what others see. Someone else on the outside looking in might have a valuable piece of information to lend you, which will
help you. Don’t disregard it. Don’t judge the person imparting this information unto you. Grab it and run with it. Believe it will only make you wiser. Don’t think you are better than anyone. Everyone, and I mean everyone, even a two year old, has
something to teach you.
So before you start choosing who to grab advice from, always remember that the truth is external.
Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise