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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A. S. Neill

"Take from others what you want, but never be a disciple of anyone."

Scottish Educator, Writer
1883 - 1973

Life is about learning and everyone we encounter, whether in the virtual world or the physical world, has something to teach us, but no one is the master of all knowledge and wisdom.  No one deserves our devotion or discipleship.  We need to each independently investigate truth for ourselves.  We need to come to our own conclusions.  If we choose to blindly follow one person, we have failed ourselves.  We have let ourselves down.

From time to time in my life, I have wished I knew someone who had all the answers and I could sit at his feet and soak in his wisdom.  But I have never encountered that person and I have had to depend on my own thoughts and wisdom.  I have had to learn to investigate what truth is for myself.  And sometimes I make mistakes and sometimes I get it right.

People often feel they need heroes and gurus.  They keep looking for THE answer.  We put people on a pedestal and when we discovered their actions don't match their words, we tear them down.  We punish them for leading us a stray.  What we fail to realize is that there are no perfect people — no wise men sitting on a hill, only fools trying to get by.

As artists and writers, we must be careful not to worship other artists and writers, not to put them on pedestals.  We need to independently investigate what they have to teach and then make our own choices.  Truth is a slippery slope.  What we believe to be true today we may discover tomorrow was an illusion.

For your listening pleasure, here is one of my favorite Beatles song:  Fool on the Hill.