Sunday, January 25, 2015

New words of wisdom

I like to collect wise sayings, and today, to my delight, I have come across two, both of which have taught me something new.

Here they are:

“I’m getting angrier as I get older”, said by the artist, Cornelia Parker.

And a quotation from Tolstoy:

“We can know only that we know nothing.  And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.”

The first, by Cornelia Parker, echoes something which I have only just become aware of, my own increasing sense of anger at the inequalities of this world.  I only have to think of those rich people gathering in Davos now, all flying in with their private jets, and most of whom, I expect, live in gated communities to keep the starving hordes at bay, for this sense of anger within me to well over into a kind of fury that the poor and disadvantaged are expected to make sacrifices whilst the rich just add to their financial portfolios.

And, seen from the point of view of a five element acupuncturist, the Tolstoy quotation is an excellent reminder to me of something I always want to emphasize in my teaching.  With every patient we see we must always start from a position of absolute humility, of “knowing nothing”, because each is unique and teaches us something completely new.

I will leave my readers to decide whether either of these quotations resonate for them as they do for me. 

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