Friday, January 03, 2014

An Honest Mistake

A “mistake” is said to be “honest” when committed under one or more of the usual following simple reasons: One, the person concerned makes a blunder without knowing, much less wanting it. Two, the individual in question either says what he does not intend to or fails to understand what he actually says. Three, the agent under consideration is not himself when he says something or does something he is not really aware of. Any and all these reasons thus make a “mistake” something “honest”. And someone must have committed an honest mistake when he readily read what somebody wrote for him – without any malice intended, without any falsity meant – but with all honest and sincerity forwarded.

About three or so weeks ago, someone said the following which was quoted by major local newspapers, and which readily caught the attention of not a few people: “…I am heir to the… wisdom of all great men and women who (came) before me…” Needless to say, such a statement is not only impressive but also outstanding, not simply memorable but also historical.

Hopefully, in order to better understand the meaning and implication of the above cited “Wow!” statement – impressive, emphatic, moving pronouncement – it might be of help to better know and appreciate the understanding of three pivotal words contained therein.

(1) “I”: This is a very defining word whereas there can be no mistake as to who is what. The word categorically and formally refers to oneself – and no other. It points at the specific and active subject – and definitely none other. The reference is not only concrete but also exclusive.

(2) “HEIR”: A bestowal, an endowment, a birthright – this is an heirloom and who has it is the heir. It is along the line of royalty that is transferred from one heir to another. To receive an heirloom and to be thus and heir is anything but trivial whereas it has reference to something lofty, exalted.

(3) “WISDOM”: Intelligence, sagacity, profundity – this is wisdom. Mere schooling, knowledge and even academic degrees – much less but merely honorary titles – in no way confers wisdom. Wisdom is an internal attribute that makes someone truly brilliant, really masterful.

Conclusion: Without the least intending to belittle anyone, much less to disdain anybody, there are times when the truth has to be told and reality has to be recognized. And this is the honest to goodness intention behind all the observations made above on a formal statement written by someone and solemnly ready by somebody.