LITERATURE: Confessions – Acknowledging Limitations

Saint Augustine is primarily a guidebook to common sense and therefore more needed today than ever before in our history.  I liked this:

He was not utterly unskilled in handling his own lack of training, and he refused to be rashly drawn into a controversy about those matters from which there would be no exit nor easy way of retreat.  This was an additional ground for my pleasure.  For the controlled modesty of a mind that admits limitations is more beautiful than the things I was anxious to know about. (V.12)

In business, I have learned to say yes, then learn how to do what I’d promised.  Very rarely have I been caught up in an impossibility after I’d sworn to success.  But this strategy doesn’t work well in discussions and I must learn to override my tendency to act or speak up, knowing that belief does not equal knowledge, desire does not equal accomplished.

I will remember this the next time I get the urge to write a poem.

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