The smart thing to do is to care.
The smart thing is to ask questions and to find out.
The smart thing to do is to listen, and then move on.
But is that enough; especially when it really matters?
Too often, the questions that we ask of our neighbours, our loved ones, our team members and our staff are superficial. We need to show that we care, we are curious to learn if ï¿½everything is okayï¿½, we are even curious about what has gone wrong ï¿½ often in a voyeuristic sort of a way.
But how much does it really matter to us? Is this enough? Emotional wisdom contains an element of true compassion and of deep concern, which goes beyond the everyday levels of enquiry and care. How often do you really dig deep with your questions? How often do you give yourself over, entirely, to listening? How often do you resist the urge to move on and, instead, say ï¿½No, this is more importantï¿½?
Wisdom demands judgement; the ability to discern what is really important. In digging deeper, you can get the information you need, to make this assessment properly. And wisdom also lies in good conduct: setting aside what is important, in favour of something newly learned, newly understood, and newly perceived as more important. Inconvenient, maybe, but indubitably right.
Seth Godin triggered this article with his own blog post, ï¿½Speechlessï¿½ on 26 March. Seth is principally concerned with customer interactions: the waiter going beyond ï¿½is everything okay with your dinner?ï¿½ for example. Digging deeper, he notes, is hard work.
Indeed it is.
Wisdom is about rejecting an easy ride.