Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The gold standard

By 1811, Napoleon had expanded his French empire from Spain to Poland, and had pissed off a lot of people in the process. Once revered for reforms that improved the quality of life for French citizens, he was reviled for his insatiable drive for continual conquest. With Russia threatening to attack him, his advisers opined against France attacking Russia because of the well-documented failures to penetrate Russia's wintry graveyard path to Moscow. So why hire advisers if he wasn't listening to them?

Living as we do, there are people that readily dole out advice unsolicited, and there are those that are in constant need of advice, and yet there are some, those few who both ask and give advice when in the natural line of a question. It's said that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. You don't have to be commander of the Grande Armée to understand that having trusted insight around you is worth its weight in golden French Franc.

Here's the tricky part. In trying to listen to sensible perspective from respected friends, still have to combine that with a questioning of where each sage-tastic nugget is coming from. And even when you have marshals of your own best interest helping to consider whatever predicament you find yourself in, you can always add Socrates to the chorus. "As for me, all I know is that I know nothing." and "Let him that would move the world first move himself."

No comments:

Post a Comment