Complimentary advice

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“I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Happy Prince and Other Stories

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
-Proverbs 1:7 ESV

The definition of the word clever is: quick to understand, learn, and devise or apply ideas; intelligent.

Lovely describing words that anyone would delight in. But, for some reason when I hear the word I imagine it being subtly insulting, like a sarcastic jab from a dear friend, and always with a British accent.

Being described as “clever” was an interesting compliment I received over the weekend. Whether its true or not…I kinda liked it. Made me feel edgy and cool and mysterious.

It got me thinking, what’s the difference between being smart vs. being clever? Off the top of my head I would imagine that someone who is smart has measurable book knowledge whereas, someone who is clever is street smart. Quick on their feet and resourceful, albeit sneaky?

Am I sneaky?! Haha, I wouldn’t think so.

I guess being seen as clever isn’t so bad. I’m definitely NOT very book smart so I’ll take it. In all truthfulness, the greatest compliment I have ever received (besides the obvious of being breathtakingly gorgeous, duh) is that I have a teachable spirit.
Why is that the greatest compliment? Because the one thing I can say that I KNOW FOR SURE in my clever, 30-ish years on earth is that I know absolutely NOTHING.

That’s right, nothing.

Im learning and growing everyday, especially from my mistakes. The only thing I can do is learn from my continual blunders and for goodness sakes, NEVER say,”I would never…”. Because, ultimately, I always will.

There is nothing/no one more repulsive to me than someone who knows everything. Someone who has all the answers and everything figured out. The person who tells you where to turn when they’re in your passenger seat and you’re like, “Dude. I’ve lived here all my life, I know how to get to Costco.”
You can’t talk to people like that. Literally. When you’re having a conversation with him/her, they aren’t even listening. They are formulating what they are going to say to you next. It’s very frustrating. Sadly, I’m sure I’ve had my own moments of being that person. I guess we all do.

The greatest surges of growth in my life have always been propelled out of a devastating blow or fall. Being humble immediately puts the people around you at ease and disarms you to actually have a meaningful discussion.
Being propelled by something humiliating to which the only response could be, ” okay, what can I learn from this?” is a blessing in disguise. May we be SMART enough to learn this and surrender to it. May we be quick to listen and slow to speak like the bible instructs. It’s a hard discipline to learn.

Gulping down a hard swallow of you-know-what will instantly put me in the posture of learning and applying what I’ve learned so that I don’t repeat the heartache…if that means I’m clever, so be it.

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” –
C.S. Lewis.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. MikesYf
    Aug 27, 2013 @ 07:46:25

    I like the way C.S. Lewis put that…
    You know you hit the nail on the head when you said, “they aren’t listening.” I learned alot about listening when I was in customer service, alot of times, ppl just want you to listen. I guess that’s why I like your blog, you write it out and as I read it, I’m listening to you. It has helped me listen to myself even as you have pointed out, no matter our size or shape, we have consistencies between us! Loved seeing you this weekend!

    Reply

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