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Foolish Mistakes of the Learned and Intelligent

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You can be the most intelligent and learned person in the world, but without wisdom you do foolish things.

What do I mean by that? Think of all the scandals or mistakes involving important persons that have taken place throughout the world at various times. Think of the Watergate Scandal, Enron collapse, child abuse, failed marriages, bankruptcies, misappropriation of funds, corruption…

When these events take place and it involves high profile persons, one begins to wonder what on earth makes them do such things. Clearly, it is not because they are not aware of such consequences. And it would not be their lack of intelligence. Almost all the time, these people are excellent in their field of endeavor – to the public. To the public, these people are exemplary and many of them have become role models for the younger generations or even to their colleagues.

Why then do they make such foolish mistakes? Was it greed, overconfidence, abuse of power, selfishness? It’s a strange thing though. When a wrong action has not been brought to the public’s eyes and still within closed doors, nobody dares to comment on it. We have a way to tone down the words to make it sound right. Thus greed will be described as ambitious, go-getter, successful, achiever, top scorer, best performer…

Nobody bothers how it will affect the other person. Everybody minds their own business. Everybody has to toe the line – even when something is not right.

When I speak, everybody listens! If you don’t listen, or dares to reason out with me, you are against me, you are fired! These are the favorite words of leaders who have become too powerful for their own good. One thing stands out very clearly. No matter how powerful a person has become to the eyes of the world, there is still some invisible force(s) that is even more powerful than they are, that they cannot control. Something that can control their actions to make them do foolish actions.

It’s called human weakness. It’s a very real characteristic of our human condition. This weakness cannot be overcome by studying in the universities, colleges, scientific research laboratories or any other places you can think of. It’s ever present as our inheritance when we were born into the world.

People who have become powerful are prone to forget about this, after all, they are more powerful than most people and they can do almost anything, and get away with it. They have become proud and their hearts are hardened so that they cannot accept advices anymore. Nobody can touch me, so why bother to listen?

Do you agree that there is something even more powerful that can guide us to do the right things rather than to do things right? Do you notice that children can sometimes be wiser than adults? The ability to see the truth is a God given gift. Acknowledging that humans are prone to make mistakes could be the first step to becoming humble. And to become humble is to find wisdom. How can one become proud when one realizes that one is just a tiny drop of water in the vast ocean of the infinite universe? The leaders of the world need to discover this thing called humbleness. Then only can they avoid making foolish mistakes.


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