Wisdom is always about attaining a proper perspective. Whatever challenge you might face, whatever situation might confront and even stymie you right now, there's a perspective available on it that will help you move forward productively and well. Once you've found that perspective, you can use it powerfully to help create the future that's best for you, or your business, or your family, or even in all ways.
Whenever I read a really good book and in it come across some amazing new perspectives on life, I ponder how many billions of people there are in the world, and how many interesting perspectives they may have on things that matter to me, and to all of us. I sometimes fantasize interviewing everyone on earth, one person at a time, and listening deeply to what they have to say. Sure, there are idiots and fools, simpletons and fanatics, and plenty of people full of hatred and delusion. But perhaps a minute or two safely spent with even their number would provide new perspectives that could be useful. And even though you'd think I was old enough to know better at age 62, I suspect that the fools and fanatics and monsters are actually a very small fraction of our fellows in this life. There are plenty of everyday sages that we could learn from, if we would just talk to them and hear what they've experienced.
Of course, none of us has the time or the means to talk to everyone alive. And we've already missed a lot by not talking to those who have come and gone before us. But we can make the most of the time and opportunities we do have by engaging the people who cross our paths, and actually listening and taking in what they say.
I learn from the people I sit next to on airplanes, from cab and limo drivers, from front desk clerks in hotels, from cooks and waiters, and from friends and neighbors, any time I can. And I'm sometimes amazed at how an offhand remark, or a story, I heard just from joining some stranger in conversation years ago, can still reverberate for me today, and enliven how I think of a new opportunity or challenge that I confront.
When we take the time to talk and really listen, we benefit. The perspectives we hear can sometimes be just what we need.