Wise Old Man

Once upon a time there was a very wise man with a long grey beard. And we know he was very wise because every day he read from the book of wisdom. Every night he would take down the great book of wisdom from the shelf and by the light of the candle by his bed he would read one page from it. And it made him very wise.

One evening as he opened up his book of wisdom and turned to the next page the contents of that page startled him. It said ‘old men with long grey beards are very stupid’. Could it be? He looked down at the age again – and yes – there it was – ‘old men with long grey beards are very stupid’.

Well – if the book of wisdom said so….

The old man picked up his candle and he set fire to his beard. The fire crackled up the beard, it singed and burned his cheeks, and he had to slap his face to put it out. It hurt. A lot! But at least the beard was gone!

Feeling better the old man settled down once again with his book of wisdom and turned to the next page which said ‘old men with long grey beards are really very stupid!’

wise old man | Tharoor Associates

Small mindedness gives you small outcomes. To improve and grow this wise man should focus on The Preventing and Solving Problems Competency

Forward Thinking: The ability to anticipate the implications and consequences of situations and take appropriate action to be prepared for possible contingencies.

  • Anticipates possible problems and develops contingency plans in advance.
  • Notices trends in the industry or marketplace and develops plans to prepare for opportunities or problems.
  • Anticipates the consequences of situations and plans accordingly.
  • Anticipates how individuals and groups will react to situations and information and plans accordingly.

Thank you Sarah Perceval for this wonderful tale.
This story comes from the jataka tales and was originally written by Buddhist monks as a way to warn people of the unethical practices of dogma preaching priests who would used their position to con the unsuspecting population into believing everything they said and robbing them of their life savings.
So many of us have a desperate need for a guru – a guru is our short cut to wisdom and knowledge. There is no short cut. If you want to improve your mind you have to work on it.
To me the old man in the story represents our unconscious bias – if a person ‘looks’ wise they must be wise!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.