The wisest people, in my experience, are those who ask insightful questions and listen respectfully and attentively to the answers.
They are not the ones who try to bulldoze their way through debates or conversations, assuming they own the truth and that the words of others are worth nothing.
The very act of listening tends to show that you are open to hearing the views of others, and accepting that they may have something to offer.
Wisdom, for me, is realising that we do not know everything.
It isn’t about condescension, but about humility. There are people who know many things, but who are not wise.
Realising that the path of learning does not end is a key part of wisdom.
If the world is a stage, who is on that stage?
Who are the directors?
Who are the actors?
Who are the audience?
The word ‘act’ is one of those many words in English that has distinct meanings.
There is ‘action‘ – people taking control of their own lives – often in the context of resolving a problem.
Then there is ‘acting‘ – essentially, learning how to lie.
Both have a transformative effect on people’s lives, but in different ways.
Do we want to lie to ourselves and let others lie to us? Or do we want to seek and learn the truth?
We all have the power to be agents of history and we all have a role to play.
Today’s stage is full of actors (in the ‘acting’ sense) – the politicians and the media. The directors? Big business owners. The rich.
The question is, if working people today are in the audience rather than on the stage, what is it that we are observing?
Do we accept everything we hear?
Are we critical of it?
All too often, the audience is too big and far too passive.
At the same time, the stage is small, and dominated by talented actors, brilliantly relaying the lies created by the directors.
The actors monopolise our perception of the truth.
To access a more accurate view of the truth, we need to revolutionise the stage.
Take away the directors.
Take away the actors.
Take away the audience.
Maybe we need to start in the audience, as critical observers, learning how things are done before getting up on the stage.
Maybe the audience needs to take control of the stage immediately and hope for the best.
Either way, we either revolutionise the stage or we waste our potential as agents of history – as agents of change.
This blog is me climbing up on the stage, adding yet another voice in the hope of counteracting the mind-numbing power of those dominating the stage today.
It is also me encouraging others to get up on the stage, ask questions for themselves, and discuss the answers.
It is me trying to convince people that the stage needs to be changed radically.