"We shall not grow wiser before we learn that
much that we have done was very foolish."
Friedrich August von Hayek
(1899-1992), Nobel Laureate of Economic Sciences 1974
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Reader comments about this quote:
For the foolish to see this they must admit they've been foolish. How many are left who can or will admit anything that might bruise their egos and upset their nice little world they've created for themselves. Out of fear of men most can't bring themselves to admit foolishness because faith in these same men is all they have. To face the truth of our modern economic situation would to say the least give these fools a very bad hair day.
 -- Anon     
  • 1
    As the old saying goes,"Too soon old, too late smart".
     -- jim k, austin     
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    It is an unavoidable consequence of life that each generation must become wise enough to keep their government in check. And as long as we are counting on the government to make us wise, we shall remain fools.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Excellent! even the founder of Honda made the same comment. Archer, your observation is correct; now for the answer? The fundamentals of Wisdom are very simple, Love, compassion, and knowledge. As Sophocles said "Wisdom outweighs any wealth" Wisdom is not something you teach; wisdom is the soul of the heart and can only be understood by its owner.The sooner we go back to having ethics in the classroom the sooner we may, if we are lucky, have ethics in the board room.
     -- RBESRQ     
    Show me a guy who makes no mistakes and I will show you a guy who does nothing. It is wisdom to know that your trials and errors, your attempts, your efforts, (all foolishness to some) is what has made you a great person. As Kipling said, "Success and failure are but to imposters", It is the "foolishness" that is the important thing.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
    P.s. To have Wisdom there must also be Ethics, Honor, and Courage. We drift from Wisdom when we attach ourselves to things; we become wiser when we start to detach ourselves from the material world.
     -- RBESRQ     
    Great comments everyone, Thanks,
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Looking back on my life, I see that about 90 percent of the things I have done, were mostly foolish. 5 stars again for this quote.
     -- jim k, Austin     
    I've learned that you can't give someone else the answer to a question they are not asking  they have no place to put it, and it doesn't make sense without the question.  More preaching is not the answer  it didn't work for you, it will not work on others either.  To inspire, spark the curiosity of others.  Imposing more rules and dogma (i.e. ethics) is just more of the same, it is not empowering.  Civics would be a better option, as few really know about due process and the Common Law.  Where does one learn morality?  It can be learned, but can it even be taught?  We either learn by example or not at all.  Be the example, and pay attention to the responses.  Life is dynamic, not fixed.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Now that I am grown up, I see that 'adults' are just old children, as foolish as when they were young.  But most spend their energies putting on airs and perfecting the 'act' that best gets them what they want.  It's interesting that the blowhard broadcaster is treated as an expert while the one that admits he doesn't know is considered a fool.  ;-)
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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