Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Individual Intelligence vs. Collective Wisdom

One day a scientist walked along a lonely path, feeling dejected. A rough looking old man with unkempt beard was sitting under a tree. The scientist threw his wallet down and the wallet fell at the feet of the old man.

The ole man, who was sitting with his eyes closed began talking slowly.

“What is the hurt that you carry, young man?” he asked the scientist.

The scientist was surprised and halted in his track. “How do you know that I am hurt?” he asked.

The old man chuckled mildly and gestured the young man to sit beside him.

“I am not sure how much you understand, but my project has been rejected. I wanted to implement it for the benefit of the society, but there is a lot of internal politics and good intentions are thwarted for the benefit of a few”, said the scientist to the old man.

The old man thought for some time before answering the scientists. Years of struggle with life had hardened the old man visibly. But as he spoke, a deep sense of wisdom slowly made its way through his words.

“Since you are a scientist you must be aware of the way a crystal is formed” he began.

The scientist nodded his head and asked the old man to continue.

“Even a tiny piece of dirt when tied to a string and dipped in a saturated solution will start forming a crystal. Correct me if I am wrong” said the old man to the scientist.

 Beautiful crystal like ingenious ideas are formed when the condition is conducive.....                                             

“When there is a need for the good you propose even the smallest speck will turn your individual intelligence into collective wisdom” said the old man.

It was now the turn of the scientist to ponder over the old man’s words. “Do you mean that my proposal is no good?” he asked.

“I am merely stating that there is no good or bad. If a majority require something it becomes good, until then it is a seed. You have sowed the seed. When the environment is conducive your idea will germinate. All I am asking you to do is to be patient” said the grey haired man.

“How long must I wait?” asked the young scientist, his grey cells refusing to be patient!

“I do not know. I do not know why you need to know? You are an intelligent man. Your duty is to propose ideas that are generated by your grey cells and record them somewhere. It is not within your might to implement it. Implementation requires a light called collective wisdom, which should be guided by leadership” said the old man, his voice sounding firm and kind.

“For a crystal to grow, both nucleation and supersaturating are required. It signifies the conglomeration of the favourable conditions, the right ingredients, suitable time and appropriate place. If you don’t throw away your work, the way you threw your wallet, the rest of the forces will fall in place one after the other”, the old man said with a naughty smile!

He handed the wallet back to the young scientist who did not know how to thank the old man.

As the scientist was leaving the old man mumbled something.
“He who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool, shun him.
He who knows not and knows that he knows not is ignorant, teach him.
He who knows and knows not that he knows is in the dark, enlighten him.
He who knows and knows that he knows is a leader, follow him!”

“So who am I now?” asked the scientist, the naughty smile having traded places.

“Leader” said the old man softly!

Image belongs to:http://goo.gl/ChZkaL