Tuesday, February 9, 2010
The Wise Men
Have you ever been at a meeting, a lecture, or some other gathering and noticed how many people are so eager to voice their opinions about the matter at hand? Everyone wants to be heard. I guess I can understand their position to some extent- we all wish we could have gotten better "class participation" grades in high school, right? Well, sometimes things are better left unsaid. All too often people offer their two cents, and then suddenly, as the last words escape their mouths, they can't quite remember why they thought they had such a brilliant idea in the first place.
I see this all the time. People are so eager to offer their input, but sometimes don't exactly know where they're headed with their idea. But, all that matters to them is that they're speaking while others are listening. They'll just talk their heads off and hope that in the end, something great has come from their speech. I've written before about being a rather quiet person...I'm not the "gabber" of the group, but I don't feel that this is a weakness. I'm not afraid to contribute to a conversation, but I am afraid of being labeled as one who says so much, they say nothing (of relevance) at all.
I was reminded of all of this when I read today's quote- and I think it would be great if we all kept this in mind the next time we find ourselves talking just to talk.
Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools talk because they have to say something.
I'm liking this quote not only because it's something I try to live by, but also because it's from a pretty legitimate source. Plato was a pretty awesome guy- aside from being a philosopher, mathematician, and writer, he learned from Socrates and taught Aristotle...so I think that suffices as a pretty decent resume. Anyway, keep in mind that your thoughts and ideas will be much more appreciated when they can actually enhance the topic of discussion. It's kind of like The Boy Who Cried Wolf...no one will want to listen to your comments and opinions if you've been talking away about nothing. Of course, I wouldn't go categorizing these poor souls as fools per say, but on the flip side, you can certainly go ahead and consider those others (or yourself) wise men. Oh, and there can be more than three, you know.
So remember today's quote and think about it the next time you find yourself in a situation where your opinion can be valued- just make sure that before you offer any brilliant plans, it's something that really has to be said. So let's all join forces and become wise men. Maybe we can even bring some cool gifts with us to our next office party, too.