Tuesday, October 06, 2009

I've been re-reading from Isaac Watt's book "The Improvement of the Mind," which is just filled with good suggestions on discoursing with people, especially those with whom you differ. This little piece is so practical --

"As you should carry about with you a constant and sincere sense of your own ignorance, by taking all proper opportunities to ask and inquire for farther information; whether it be the meaning of a word, the nature of a thing, the reason of a proposition, the custom of a nation, etc., never remain in ignorance for want of asking.
Many a person had arrived at some considerable degree of knowledge, if he had not been full of self-conceit, and imagined that he had known enough already, or else was ashamed to let others know that he was unacquainted with it. God and man are ready to teach the meek, the humble, and the ignorant; but he that fancies himself to know any particular subject well, or that will not venture to ask a question about it, such an one will not put himself into the way of improvement by inquiry and diligence. "A fool may be wiser in his own conceit than ten men who can render a reason," and such a one is very likely to be an everlasting fool; and perhaps also it is a silly shame renders his folly incurable.
"If fools have ulcers, and their pride conceal 'em;
They must have ulcers still, for none can heal 'em."

Photo by A. Small


Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Fred:)

This quote is quite true. We will know only if we have an inquiring mind. Only when we ask, we will be enlightened. There is so much in this world that we do not know.

Today, I went to a reference library which has been started not to lend books but to be used exclusively for reference in the library itself. Although this library primarily deals in various forms of art, it is also stacked with books on politics, economics, philosophy, religion and so on. I was amazed at the various subjects about which I have not even heard of. If I pretend I know everything then I will die in ignorance. I am planning to become a member although I am not sure how many days I will be able to visit the library. I am already a member of a lending library but I hardly go there. But then my job keeps me busy and I carry some books on literature.

Very interesting post.

Have a nice day Fred:)

FCB said...

Hi Joseph,
I like the line _ "God and man are ready to teach the meek, the humble, and the ignorant"; where I fall down is I always seem to take my pride with me when I enter a debate. Sadly, this is where enlightenment ends. It takes great maturity to look at things without prejudice, and just listen objectively.
A reference library, interesting; I would think many students or lawyers would visit.
God bless,