06 January, 2006

We Hereby Resolve

Drat. It's resolution time again. And I don't think I've managed to keep a single one of my resolutions since I started making them way back in the 4th grade. So this year, I decided to take a page out of my co-worker's book and hereby resolve to make no more resolutions!

Well, that didn't last very long, did it?

Why? Because EC decided to post something that made me change my mind.
Before I list things to do, before I catalog things to acquire, before all other resolutions for 2006, I will put first getting understanding. And with that getting, get busy behaving better as well.

In our pop-psych, celebrity values world, there is an excess of emotion, a glut of consumption, a preponderance of pleasure seeking, and a surplus of self-serving. These do not add up to wisdom.

Therefore, my New Year wish for all of us: Cool headed, warm-hearted, far-sighted, enduring wisdom.

And with that, she definately takes a bigger step towards her resolution than anything I've done so far in my approximately 29 years on this planet.

Normally, deliberately seeking wisdom in and of itself is a fool's errand. I've always gone by the old logical saw of :
To gain wisdom, one must first gain experience.
To gain experience, one must gain a sense of learning.
To gain a sense of learning, one must first make numerous mistakes.
Therefore: to gain wisdom, first make numerous mistakes.
And with that, I offer EC my own words of wisdom. I forget the citation, and Google wasn't much help this time.
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Lord, make us foolish for our struggle.

1 comment:

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

The first sentence of your quote is from Alexander Pope (1688-1744) in his Essay on Criticism, 1.625.

A very close paraphrase appears in the following passage of Matt Rutt's Sewer, Gas and Electric: The Public Work's Trilogy (1997), which is probably your source:

"Joan Fine sat near the front, wishing she could smoke. But while Fatima Sigorski might turn a blind eye to the occasional cigarette sneaked in the women's room, she didn't even allow gum chewing during assembly, so Joan's only recourse for tension release was the rosary in her pocket, which she fretted with continuously while Fatima spoke. Joan's mother had given it to her on the day of her first confession; and though what Joan had confessed had been a youthful disdain for Roman Catholic theology, she'd held on to the rosary, calling it a good luck keepsake. The beads were cheap acrylic, but the crucifix was true silver, wrought by a Reformed Carmelite sister who moonlighted as a master smithy. Christ's silver crown of thorns had been painstakingly engraved with a laser stylus and when held up to a strong light would project the prayer of the Reverend Cabal of Catholic Womanists against the nearest wall, in pinprick letters of fire: Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. God make us foolish for our struggle."