Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Overestimating how smart we are...

On Having Smarts

"The problem, "said the gallon jug, "is that
you only hold a quart, which severely limits
-- surely you understand this --
how much I can teach you."

Already well-aged and fairly full of himself,
most of the words splashing around him
on the placemat, the quart only heard,
"The problem is... much I can teach."

Disgusted with the jug's inadequacies,
the quart was whining around the water cooler
to a very cute and delicate glass,
"You're not going to believe what a poor teacher
that pompous old jug is. What a jerk!"

The glass, half-full and content
with what it already knew,
was only able to absorb the words:
"You're...a jerk."

So the glass, now feeling acutely half-empty,
attacked for no reason that it could see,
just sat in self-righteous anger,

while just above the town,
the dam was about to burst.


  1. There's a lot more to this than meets the eye. Exceedingly wise and pertinent story which many could do well to heed. :).

  2. Clever parable there, Mark.
    Reminds me of an ad campain going on for a grocery store here, too. One person is being yelled at by his wife, or his mom, or a cop, and the tirade is all scrambled except for a few words that stick out, which when assembled out of context say what the person wants to hear. Punchline is 'take only the best'.

  3. Well said Mark. Loved 'the quart...fairly full of himself ... the glass ... half-empty and content'...

    We often hear only what we already believe. Our mind literally filters out what doesn't coincide with what we already think we know to be true about ourself and the world. Wisdom is knowing precisely how little you really know. I am getting wiser every day.

    Let's hope the dam holds until we figure this out.

  4. I am afraid to make a comment!

  5. Good listening prose for teaching children. I am probably guilty of this, but the problem is you do not see your own weaknesses.

  6. So smartly said. And Bonnie's right. . .

  7. Oh what a wise collection of words from the 'sage' himself. Wonderfully written.