Sunday, September 13, 2009

Who is Wise?

I visited a raptor rehab centre last weekend and took photos of this captive Great Horned Owl. It stared at me, (or through me) silently and then closed its eyes in seeming disinterest and boredom. Owls are often equated with wisdom and this is well discussed in Just 3 Things, a new blog I visited this past week.

If asked to give an opinion on why owls are considered wise, I would say, "They are observant and often silent."

Owls see well, particularly in total darkness, and their hearing is highly developed. I am a fan of good mysteries, my favourite detectives being Miss Marple, Mma Precious Ramotswe, and Hercule Poirot. The darkness of evil and crime is penetrated by their fine listening and observation skills and their ability to analyze facts in a creative way.

There is a tendency to verbalize more rather than less as we get older. Some of my geriatric patients will talk through an entire treatment session and I have to redirect them to the task at hand. A life time of experience adds up to plenty of subject material! How easy it is to trump the know-how of someone younger and to minimize their judgment and maturity. I have raised three children and when listening to a young parent describe a sleepless night with a sick child, could interject that I have lost several months of sleep over the years. It is harder to just listen and empathize without drawing the attention back to my own personal perspective, especially if my opinion is not requested.

The best conversationalists say little about themselves instead focusing their attention on others and listening with genuine interest. Proverbs 10:19 says, "When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise." Proverbs 17:28 adds, "Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue."

Perhaps the owl is not as intelligent as we may think, but wisely he is not telling.
When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise." Proverbs 17:28 adds, "Even a fool is thought wise if , and discerning if he holds his tongue.

17 comments:

  1. I prefer Holmes. But either way, the owl certainly is a noble bird. Those piercing eyes, and wise face make him a wonder to behold.

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  2. lol, Holmes is good but somewhat unbalanced to be my hero. I have enjoyed reading all his adventures and have seen many film versions as well...good British mysteries.

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  3. Thanks for the shout out. My favorite Proverb on the matter is " A Fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.(Proverbs 18:2)Unfortunately I have played the fool more often than I would like to admit....but I'm working on it.

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  4. Oh we have so much to learn.Speaking is often easier than listening.Thanks for the reminder.
    Blessings,Ruth

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  5. Vern- I wish I had remembered that scripture when I wrote the post. It fits perfectly...thanks for sharing.
    Ruth- Yes, I am writing to myself too.

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  6. I sure need to keep my trap shut more!

    I love Ms Marpole and Mma Ramotswe ... and Hercule Poirot is right up there too. I used to watch the Marpole and Poirot adventures when I boarded with a lady a few years ago now ... she had a TV and faithfully watched these shows.

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  7. I love the idea of the wise owl being observent and silent. I must be a fool as I talk way too much.

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  8. I find myself doing this too Ruth, and have to catch myself not to let MY perspective or experiences take center stage when someone is sharing. Glad you found Vern's blog. :c)

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  9. I've never heard of Mma Ramotswe. I seem to prefer more modern mysteries for the most part though.

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  10. Mma Ramotswe is from The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith. The first season of the TV version was just released this past week, but I have enjoyed (and own) all the books so far.

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  11. I think that's the first time I've seen one of these guys with his "flaps" down. Still looks fiercely wise, though!

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  12. I visit an owl at my local Audubon Center. She was hit by a car and cant go back into the wild. She is so special to me. I have even posted a photo of her on my blog. They made a very comfy cage for her. They also have a beautiful HUGE raven out back in a cage and he hoards his food, stuffing it in the top of his cage and then calls out for the wild (and free) ravens whom he feeds through the top of the page. I look forward to receiving your code for the gently falling snow to my email I left after your comment. Your blog is breathtaking.

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  13. My father taught me this as a child. Sorry I don't know its origin:
    A wise old owl sat up in an oak;
    The more he saw the less he spoke;
    The less he spoke the more he heard;
    Why aren't we all like that wise old bird?

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  14. NCMW- Perfectly fitting rhyme... thanks for sharing it.

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  15. My Gal Sal.. I know nothing about codes for falling snow.. another blog perhaps?

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  16. Interesting observations on wisdom. Great photos of the owl, especially the first one.

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  17. Is there going to be another edition of the dueling Christian owls from Vern in Pennsylvania and Ruth in Canada? (just kiddin)- Seriously though,I do enjoy reading bits of wisdom from The Bible as I rarely read The Bible or go to church.

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