How Wise Are You?


While flicking through my photographs the other day, I came across one of a basket weaver from Ssesse Island, Uganda and I started thinkingÖ

Weaving basket designs is a complex craft that takes much skill and dexterity. To see an expert at work is so fascinating that I had watched this particular lady for hours. What was astonishing, however, was that a young African man had also become engrossed as the basket weaver performed her craft.

Wondering whether the young man was more interested in the basket weaving or the weaver, I approached the unexpected couple. On being asked about his interest in weaving, the wise young man looked at me with complete bemusement and replied that he didnít know how to weave so was watching because we can always learn something from one another.

Of all the lessons Iíve learned during my travels, one of the finest is that wisdom has nothing to do with wealth and little to do with formal education! Wisdom can be found in every village, every town, every city, country, and continent in every corner of the earth. Moreover, the wisest are often not those who are the most vocal but, instead, those who are quiet and self-effacing.

The young man on Ssesse Island is a perfect example. His stature in the village was such that he was not expected to study the lowly task of basket weaving; yet, there he was. And to top it off, this self-effacing young man threw out a pearl of wisdom so effortlessly.

As I watch what is happening in our world today, I find myself wishing that more people had the wisdom of my young African friend. Much time has passed since I met the young man but I have carried his memory and wisdom in my heart ever since. And I believe whole-heartedly that it doesnít matter who we are, we can always learn something from one another.

Just a thought.

Copyright © 2007 Rhia Roberts
Rhia is a true citizen of the world! Raised in Wales, she has taught in Wales, Kuwait, Zambia, Borneo, and the US. In addition, she has spent about two years backpacking around Europe, Africa and South-East Asia. Now she lives in California, US with her husband and their three multi-ethnic, adopted children. Rhia hopes to publish a coffee-table book from her Just Thoughts series in the future.