The Wisdom of a People

Posted by on February 14, 2011

How does one reconcile these two famous proverbs?

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

That first platitude would argue that pre-emptive action is a waste of time and resources; “Leave well-enough alone.” The second platitude says quite the opposite; “A stitch in time, saves nine.”

Which is true?

Stanislaw Lec said, “Proverbs contradict each other. That is the wisdom of a people.”

George Santayana said it more plainly. “Almost every wise saying has an opposite one, no less wise, to balance it.”

Nobel prize-winning physicist Niels Bohr said this isn’t just true in philosophy and art, but is true in science as well: “The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”

It would seem that every great truth in our universe has its opposite. Little ideas can be right or wrong but big ideas are both right and wrong.

Is your mind broad enough to hear the beauty of birdsong in the land of your enemy?

Homophobes criticize me when I quote Oscar Wilde, “He was a homosexual, you know.”

Religious people criticize me when I quote Voltaire, “He was an atheist, you know.”

Republicans squint at me suspiciously when I say I like Obama.

Democrats’ eyebrows jump when I say I admired Ronald Reagan.

“According to our present conceptions, an atom of an element is built up of a nucleus that has a positive electrical charge… together with a number of electrons, all having the same negative charge….”
– Niels Bohr, from his Nobel Prize acceptance speech

Our universe exists because these equal-but-opposite bits – protons and electrons – come together and interact in a strained, divine tension. The important thing, for me, is that neither of these particles is compromised by the other. Protons are no less positively-charged because of their interaction with electrons, and electrons are never corrupted because of their close proximity to protons.

If electrons and protons were ever to become alike, our universe would cease to exist. The solution is never “somewhere in the middle” as is constantly suggested by dullards and cowards and lovers of gray and beige. These flaccid proponents of “the middle ground” are like wet toilet paper.

And I mean that, of course, in a spirit of love.

Reality – indeed, the entirety of our physical universe – requires equals-but-opposites in their purest forms, forever attracting and repelling each other as they dance the dance of creation.

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald

Do you have a first-rate intelligence?

I could easily craft a compelling counter-argument against everything I’ve written today and I know that you could, too.

But I won’t. Because today I am feeling neither gray nor beige.

Roy H. Williams

Duality is marked by the contrast of opposites. This is the essence of successful marketing and the underlying theme of the Magical Worlds Communications Workshop. The truth is never black or white or “somewhere in the middle.” The key to miracles is to recognize the beauty of both sides of a duality – black and white – while not allowing yourself to get trapped in the perspective of either side. Please don’t think I’m saying there’s no such thing as Absolute Truth. Of course Truth exists. But not everything is objective. There is also a subjective reality – a perceptual reality – that lives in the heart. It is to this reality that persuasion is aimed.

Here’s What You Missed 2 Weeks Ago

Big companies get big for a reason: They recognize huge opportunities and take quick action while everyone else is scratching their heads and “waiting to see what happens.”
Look at the photo. Can you spot the CEO of a company recently named by Entrepreneur magazine as “1 of the 50 Best Places in America to Work”? He was the first to sign up for this class.
Can you spot the marketing director of a 7 Billion-dollar retailer?
How about the marketing director of a 90 Billion-dollar company?
I dropped in and listened as everyone shared their action plans on Day 2. I was astounded at what these students were planning to do as soon as they got home.
One of them had already called and arranged for the Governor of their state to meet them when their plane touched down at the airport. And that student wasn’t even from one of the really big companies.
Buzz is definitely about to be snatched.
The big winners were here.
Where were you?

Seriously, you DO NOT want to miss this class the next time it’s scheduled. – RHW

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