I found this great video on YouTube on how to be wise. It goes through the accepted definition of being wise and whether it’s still appropriate in today’s world. What I found most interesting in this where the speaker Simon Cohen talks about children and how we misintrept thier behaviour (13 mins). I agree with the speaker who says that children have an inate wisdom in the way in which they stop, pause, look at everything (every leaf, every face) and find the meaning and story behind it.
It reminds me of this book that I have read many times, the Philosophical Baby by Alison Gopnik. Where the author speaks about how
- children’s brians are like an open highway,
- how information travels around thier brains and
- how they try to find every possible use of everything, like new ways to play with their toys, which we the parents say ‘no you’re supposed to play with it like this’ or ‘no it doesn’t work that way’ before we grab it from them and show them the right way to use it.
What’s happening here is that the child is trying to find out new ways to do something. Because they haven’t been trained in how to use or do a particular thing their neurological pathways are all open. Ours however have been closed, we’ve found the fastest way to do something.
We’ve been trained by school, by work, by society in general how to do something quickly and efficiently.
There’s some logic behind this, as there are certain things that we need to be able to do quickly and efficiently which we’ve inherited from our cave dwelling predecessors. Like when a beast would attack them, the caveman didn’t have time to plot out all the different ways he could fend off the wild animal, he had to learn to act quickly. Our modern day equivalent would be crossing the road, there are certain rules we need to drum into ourselves and the middle of the road is not the time to start theorising on new propositions.
However I think some of the modern day great minds, people like Steve Jobs (Apple), Ed Catmul (Pixar), the guys who invented twitter, google, youTube etc. are those who are willing to look at different ways to do things rather than follow rules. I think the video below says it best, there are two kinds of people,
- those who follow instructions the way our education system teaches us and never step out to try to follow new ideas
- and those who learn to think, take chances and not be afraid
Be great to hear your thoughts.
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