Friday, November 24, 2006

The Wisdom of a Child

I was at another blog today and something simply occured to me. It is a philosophical blog and the posts are long, but then so are some of the comments. What got me thinking was that the shortest comments were the ones that said the most. The long ones were often just rambling and saying nothing except to try and justify a belief or the rejection of an idea.

I remember a preacher talking about a college student going to visit his totally illiterate grandfather and somehow the conversation got around to the idea of truth. The young college sprout started talking about how truth was relative and ultimately unknowable, quoting many great philosophers. His grandfather, who couldn't read his own name, let along works of philosophy listened to him and finally said, "Sonny, It's real simple. Truth is what is so, as opposed to what ain't so." Without any difficulty, that unschooled farmer decimated some of the great philosophers of the past century by one simple observation. (I may have used the story before; it's one of my favorite illustrations.)

At times children seem to amaze us with their observations but it really isn't so amazing. They simply say what they see and hear and give us their observations without guile. I often wonder if our great thoughts are merely attempts not to see the obvious but the unschooled, like the child in The Emperor's New Clothes, simply sees what is there and repeats it. Yes our senses and experiences can and do fail us, but most often they at least point us in the right directions.

Perhaps when we are confused and overwhelmed, we need to just simplify our thoughts and look at things with the wisdom of a child. See what is simply there.


Blogger lilfeathers2000 said...

The younger the child the shorter the time since they sat at God's throne full of knowledge and wisdom.

12:49 PM  
Blogger armed_and_christian said...

I think it was Albert Einstein who once said that if you cannot explain something to an 8 y/o child, you really don't understand it yourself.

7:28 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

"out of the mouths of babes..."

8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Makes sense...

11:18 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

Well, I'm going to keep this comment short, LOL!

Hi, Shoprat. Excellent point! :)

11:19 AM  
Blogger Ebyjo said...

My kids can come up with some pretty amazing stuff. I am floored when it takes me like 7 or 8 words to define another word and they sum it up with something I forgot...haha

4:24 PM  
Blogger Lone Pony said...

Beautiful Shoprat.

5:41 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

Thanks all for your comments.

a&c could he explain relativity to an 8 year old?

gayle :-D

8:51 PM  

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