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Wisdom Snobbery

Posted Jun 10 2009 6:46pm

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Most of us understand that the word snob is defined as a person who adopts the worldview that some people or things are inherently inferior to him/her for any one of a variety of reasons, including real or supposed intellect, wealth, education, ancestry, etc…

For instance some people would not be caught dead in a consignment shop because they believe that to shop in a consignment shop is beneath them, even though they very well may find the exact label clothes they wear at a fraction of the price and often times the original sales tags are still on the clothing. It is not because the clothing in a consignment shop is any less valuable or attractive that some people would not shop in a consignment shop, it is because the person sees consignment shop shopping as below their station in life.  Some people would rather pay full price then ever look on the sale rack at a store. This is one form of snobbery.

Another more insidious form of snobbery practiced by many people is that of wisdom snobbery. The funny thing is that people who are wisdom snobs are rarely conscious of the snobbery that they practice, often times it is a something that has been indoctrinated into them by their social circle or culture.

Many people tend to discount anything that does not fit into their belief system. For instance sometimes a person becomes so locked in our their religious beliefs that when a person or group from another religion speaks, writes, etc they immediately discount what they are saying as something that they do not want to hear or something that they perceive no value in. Sometimes an atheist will shut down anything that comes across as religious or speaks of a god, again perceiving that there is no value because what is being said does not fit into their belief system. We see this happen all the time in politics. Some people are not open to hear what another one is saying because they are a Republican or a Democrat, a Tory or Labor, the Green Party, etc. Even sports fans may not listen to someone because they support an opposing team. Adults may not listen to a child or may not see the wisdom in a child’s story or nursery rhyme because they perceive that they are beyond children’s stories.

Whatever ones reason for practicing wisdom snobbery it is apparent that when we become a wisdom snob that we risk the chance of missing out on so much wisdom that is available to us.  When we refuse to listen to another persons views and lessons because they do not belong or fit into our belief system we our shutting out the potential to learn, the potential to gleam great lessons that transcend belief systems; great lessons and wisdom that are placed before us to learn and grow from.

We don’t have to agree with another person’s beliefs to be able to learn from them. There is great wisdom to be found in all belief systems, there is great wisdom to be found even in those who we perceive as polar opposites to that which we believe and stand for.

Many people have been indoctrinated to believe that what they believe is the “truth” and that anything else is untrue, not of value and if they were to even entertain or participate in something outside their belief system that they may somehow be pulled over to the “dark side”.

My friends the only “dark side” is ourselves when we do not open up the windows of our soul to allow the light which is us (love) to shine out and to allow the light that is found in others to shine in.

Consider today weather or not you practice a form of wisdom snobbery. If you find that you do, note your awareness and open yourself up to the possibility that wisdom is found in many places and that there is often great value in listening to people whose beliefs, social standing, age, political affiliation, sexual orientation, nationality, etc, on the surface may seem different then yours or may even oppose yours. Listen for the wisdom and fear not that which is strange to you, for often there are nuggets of wisdom to be found in what we initially perceive to be the darkest of mines.

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