20 October 2010

can fools become wise?

The fool wonders, the wise man asks.

Benjamin Disraeli

He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.
Chinese Proverb

No man really becomes a fool until he stops asking questions.
Charles Steinmetz

It has taken me many, many years to start reaching the point where I am alright with looking like a fool in order to ask questions.  Previously, tonight's shopping trip would have taken much longer than it did.  I'd be too proud to admit that I needed help finding something, and would wander among the many aisles for hours in the search for it.  Why?  How much smarter did I really look to the employees by not asking, when those same employees were there to witness my constant searching while denying their offers of assistance?  Why was it so important that I look like I had it all together to a bunch of people I'll probably never see again, who I'd never recognize even if I did?  Because there was that tiny sliver of a chance that they'd remember me as some goofy clown.  It would haunt me.

Tonight, I asked.  I'm sure that I looked quite the fool, too, having to come back to the same employee three or four times for other questions I'd forgotten I'd needed to ask.  Now, I could try to blame that all on pregnancy brain, or mom-of-small-kids brain, and that might in fact be a part of it.  But that doesn't matter.  Right now what matters is the fact that I have not once beat myself up for being such an embarrassing ditz tonight. Just the opposite, in fact: when I've thought of it, I've chuckled at my absentmindedness.

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