"Behold the world fresh - as it is, on its own terms - through the eyes of a beginner. To know that you do not know and to be willing to admit that you do not know without sheepishly apologising is real strength and sets the stage for learning and progress in any endeavor.
The wisest among us appreciate the natural limits of our knowledge and have the mettle to preserve their naiveté. They understand how little all of us really know about anything. There is no such thing as conclusive, once-and-for-all knowledge. The wise do not confuse information or data, however prodigious or cleverly deployed, with comprehensive knowledge or transcendent wisdom. They say things like "Hmmm" or "Is that so!" a lot. Once you realize how little we do know, you are not so easily duped by fast-talkers, splashy gladhanders, and demagogues. Spirited curiosity is an emblem of the flourishing life.
Arrogance is the banal mask for cowardice; but far more important, it is the most potent impediment to the flourishing life. Clear thinking and self-importance cannot logically coexist. Humanity has no inherent pecking order, despite outward appearances. Everyone in this world is important. If you really want peace of mind and success in your endeavours, forego self-importance... ...Stop jabbering like a magpie. Notice what's actually happening, not just what you think is happening or wish were happening. Look and listen.
To do anything well you must have the humility to bumble around a bit, to follow your nose, to get lost, to goof. Have the courage to try an undertaking and possibly do it poorly. Unremarkable lives are marked by the fear of not looking capable when trying something new.
New experiences are meant to deepen our lives and advance us to new levels of competence; they are not meant to be used by the the self-important as fodder for shoring up their previously adopted views and conclusions.
Important knowledge and personal guidance dwell in unexpected places" - Epictetus (circa 55-135 CE)
Photo: Sunrise on the Playa, Burning Man 2017
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