Cogitating on things this glorious morning in June, enjoying perhaps the last drier day for a spell, I am soaking up other people’s wisdom.
For example, I didn’t know if President Lincoln actually declared what I am feeling:
“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.” ― Abraham Lincoln
So I looked it up. Once upon a time, I would have gone to a book — Bartlett’s Quotations.
But, I chose to google it. Now Bartlett’s was a workout Google has greatly reduced, helping me quickly retrieve the quote and the source. (Lincoln Quotes everyone Should Know)
However, the search engine doesn’t have smell and feel of this beloved old volume — a gift my brother and I gave our father on Christmas 1968 — duly noted by mother in an inscription who also loved the book.
Seeking to authenticate the Lincoln quote, I would have found so much common sense, courtesy and compassion that we need in these uncertain times — like this one — Can you guess which quote got my attention?
and this one:
Thinking back to Christmas 1968, I SHOULD have been perusing the collected wisdom in so many of Bartlett’s gems. But I was too busy saving the world because the former generations were wrong, wrong wrong! (Nothing like a belligerent Baby Boomer)
That I lived through that time convinces me God was watching out for me, protecting me from myself and exasperated family and friends who had to listen to me . . . bloviate!
Time, however is a fine teacher — so is other people’s wisdom. And so is a merciful God who knew know to save me, especially from my silly one self.
Other people remind me:
We would all do well to remember that true wisdom is not only knowing your subject well, but also knowing the limitations of your knowledge. (Sometimes It’s Best to Espress Your Wisdom in Silence ~ Tim Challis)
For after the explosive Supreme Court decision on abortion, etc; Ukraine, etc; violence in Baltimore; the Drought; and the personal trials so many we know are undergoing . . . I got nothing. ( He Sees; He Knows )
However, I also recommend reading books filled with other people’s wisdom — like that carefully complied in an old book, albeit a fourteenth edition — It’s like is like hearing old friends kibitz, gossip and exhort — lighting up today’s journey.
Search engines can’t do that.
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One of my favorite books from that time period is entitled The Humorous Mr. Lincoln. I can’t seem to find it in my house, but my google search shows there are still a lot of copies around. So maybe the beauty of internet searches is in locating good old books.
Looking up the book of Lincoln!