Out of the mouth of babes..!
THE other day I watched a fa mous psychiatrist in deep con versation with an old man. The old man was doing the talking while the doctor was listening. I met the doctor later and told him mischievously, “No soliciting business doc!”
“On the contrary Bob,” said the psychiatrist seriously, “it was the old man who was giving me advice!” “You listened to him?” I asked surprised. “Out of the mouth of babes,” said the doctor, “came words of wisdom!” I thought of that doctor today and wondered if you my dear reader have a problem and it doesn’t seem like it’s going away, perhaps what you need to do is to start listening to people who are totally unrelated to what you are going through:
Thomas Edison invented the incandescent electric light bulb. But Edison’s bulb did not burn for long; it gave off little light and it was too expensive. A man named William David Coolidge spent seven years improving the light bulb to make it more practical. Largely because of his work, electric light eventually came into common use.
When Coolidge finally succeeded in his efforts, he was questioned about how he was able to make tungsten work. He said, ‘It was because I was not a metallurgist. Had I been a metallurgist, I would have known that the task was impossible!’ Henry Ford, too, built his success largely on his ability to ‘think outside the box.’ He used to say that he was looking to employ a lot of people who were beyond being just engineers, ‘who have an infinite capacity to not know what can’t be done.’Very often unconventional thinking is required to solve problems.
You may not be setting out to build a huge company or market a new invention, but you still face difficult problems that beg for creativity. Perhaps you are worried about financing an education. Or you are caring for a loved one with a long-term illness. Or maybe you simply cannot seem to get along with that difficult person you work alongside everyday. These problems, and countless others, just don’t seem to go away. Start listening to people whom you’ve otherwise thought of as ‘stupid’: Your children, your aged parents, an old aunt or uncle or even that jobless hobo who turns up unexpectedly for a meal; you’ll be surprised at the kind of advice they give!
I remember my psychiatrist friend that night, he was in a thoughtful mood and suddenly he broke into a grin, “Can you imagine Bob,” he said, “with an MD in Psychiatry I’d never found the solution, till I found wise words pouring out of the mouth of a babe?” “Babe?” I asked. “We shrinks like to think anyone who doles out advice but isn’t a psychiatrist is a ‘babe’ in the field! From today I listen to the babes..!” —Email: firstname.lastname@example.org