What is the Measure Of One’s Wisdom?

Here is a simple story I read recently which beautifully answers this question. This is a story of a wise businessman (Yes, he is an exception among businessmen who are generally known to be clever rather than wise!). Apparently he was anxiously awaiting the safe arrival of his huge sailing ship loaded with most of his wealth besides his wife & children. One day a panic-stricken messenger knocked on his door to deliver a message. As soon as the businessman opened the door the messenger announced: “Sir, your ship has sunk”.
Businessman: What?
Messenger:Your ship has sunk
Businessman: So what?
Messenger: You have lost all your wealth
Businessman: What?
Messenger: You are a pauper now
Businessman:So what?
Messenger: Sir, You have lost your wife & children
Businessman: What?
Messenger: You are an orphan now
Businessman: So what?

If you notice, his first response is always one of disbelief and within a few seconds, he digests the news, recovers completely and says: So what.

This,then, is the measure of one’s wisdom – the time taken for the transition from ‘what?’ to ‘So what’. People without emotional maturity will never recover from a calamity while people with wisdom will accept the reality and get on with their lives.

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Published in: on January 11, 2014 at 11:53 am  Comments (1)  
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