I attended a very interesting conference in Oxford at the week-end on the subject of Intercultural Humanism. It was a privilege to be in the company of some extraordinary minds, but the most powerful talk for me began with the statement that if what we were talking about couldn't be brought down to the level of being understandable by the garbage man or local shopkeeper then essentially we would have failed.
This simple statement captured the essence of the current dilemma. We have so many brilliant thinkers, but so often we lack the ability to bridge such thinking and make it meaningful for normal people. A great deal of my own time in the last few years has been spent trying to address this and I have found myself becoming increasingly exasperated by long self-serving intellectual discourses that are accessible only to a very limited number of people and remain far removed from the everyday world. It seems that we are enormously good at analysing, dissecting and debating the qualities of wisdom without actually demonstrating such qualities within our own lives. We hold conferences and meetings that talk about the need to balance the mental, emotional and spiritual and yet these events themselves remain at only one level.
True wisdom needs few words to capture profound truths. And silence can sometimes be the greatest teacher of all.
This is an area where less is definitely more.