Are You Sure?

  In my reading today I found a quote by Bertrand Russell that ignited some thoughts and I hope you’ll take a look at this and share your response to it!

    “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certainof themselves and wiser people so full of doubts.”  -Bertrand Russell

    As a growing boy I enjoyed reading and found many thoughts that caused me to form views of the world and the people in it.  I can still recall being really enthused about some ‘new’ idea, sharing it with my wise father, and hearing him say something like:  ‘Hmm!  I’ll have to think about that!’  I can still almost recreate the feeling of impatience I had with his response.  I thought, “Well, for goodness sakes – this seems so obvious to me, why can’t he see that.’  Years later I realized that my view was filled with the certainty of inexperience and his was based on a world of experience  – experience which caused him to doubt – experience that I could not have had at these tender ages.

    Years later I heard a speaker say:  “The people discovered a recurring problem in the workplace and they sent leaders to talk to one of the newest workers who was young and just starting his life in the world of work and with this company.  The ‘solution’ he offered was filled with certainty and the statement that if ‘ . . they (the top administrators) would only do this and that the problem would be solved’.  Another group of people went to the CEO of the company, described the problem, and heard the CEO offer this statement, ‘I really don’t know what the answer is.’  And, many came away with the conclusion that the newbie knew more about running the business than the CEO.”

    The voice of wisdom suggests that the newest employee might not be aware of all of the possibilities presented by the inquisitors and the CEO couldn’t come to a concrete solution filled with certainty until he had considered many things beyond the knowledge of the innocent new employee.

    I’m wondering this morning if there are times in my life even today when I’m absolutely sure of a pathway toward solutions of problems and I later discover that I really didn’t have enough information to come to that certainty. 


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