Istopped in at a country restaurant not that long ago for the comfort of a country breakfast.
The food was good, but I’m sure the greater nourishment of that visit came in the form of practical wisdom.
I have come to believe that if you take the time to observe and listen well, you can learn a lot about life and how best to navigate the issues of the day.
I believe that many of us face most of the same problems, regardless of where we were born. Our economic and social standing seem to have little to do with particularly dreaded things that present themselves.
It’s hard to understand why innocent children have cancer; I do not know why smart people who actively use their minds develop Alzheimer’s.
Why do we make choices that cause harm to ourselves and others? Why do we eat poorly and think negatively?
You never know where you will find useful and practical nuggets of wisdom that will stimulate that ah-ha light bulb moment.
I am fortunate in that by the nature of what I do I tend to have lingering visits with people to get a good understanding of what their story may be.
It is often in that non-rushed time that wisdom appears. It often follows the path of a story of overcoming a significant obstacle in life. Sometimes it is simply the passing of wisdom from an older person in their life.
At times, it comes from those of us who are great thinkers. Benjamin Franklin was a great thinker, and he shared many nuggets of practical wisdom in his prolific writings. Among many writings Franklin wrote Thirteen Virtues. The first five are:
1. Temperance -- “Eat not to dullness: drink not to elevation,”
2. Silence -- “Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversations.”
3. Order -- “Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
4. Resolution -- “Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.”
5. Frugality -- “Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.”
As I enjoyed breakfast, I observed some practical wisdom. One conversation with a fellow who lives in a secluded wooded area was asked by a fellow diner, how long it takes to rake all the leaves at his house. He looked at him and said, the leaves fall and provide nutrients to the earth. The leaves take care of themselves.
The National Wild Life Federation seems to support this idea, they say. “As leaves decompose, their nutrients trickle into the soil and feed future generations of plant and animal life. Quite likely, fallen leaves are an essential factor in the survival not only of trees but the forests as a whole.”
Another diner was visiting the area for the first time; he was talking with everyone about his family that was from the area. He was gathering information about his heritage. He was a nice fellow, but I could tell he likely had a hearing problem because he was talking very loud. I noticed the condition because my Dad wore hearing aids due to damage to his hearing from working in a furniture factory.
When the fellow left, I ask the grill cook a few questions about the conversation, and he said, well, look, I hear chatter all the time. I only pick up on a few things and hopefully it’s the important stuff, but honestly, I don’t know. “He seemed like a good fellow, his family are good people, and I hope he comes back and eats with me again, I’m okay with just knowing that.”
I think Franklin would have enjoyed being with us for a little country wisdom with our eggs and toast as the leaves fell outside.
Carl White is the executive producer and host of the award winning syndicated TV show “Carl White’s Life In the Carolinas.” The weekly show is in its seventh year of syndication and can be seen in the Greenville, Spartanburg viewing market on WLOS ABC 5 a.m. Saturdays and 1:30 p.m. Sundays at WMYA My 40. Visit www.lifeinthecarolinas.com, email White at Carl@lifeinthecarolinas.com.