Shallow Lives

We live in an era of shallow lives. We have the great thinkers at our fingertips, and yet we don’t seem to heed their advice — we don’t even know what their advice is. Instead we are stuck feeling our way through the mud of life without reference to the solid answers that guided our ancestors. We have forgotten the proverbs that tell us to be quick to listen to wisdom and slow to speak:

Proverbs 16:23 – The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.

Proverbs 16:32 – [He that is] slow to anger [is] better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

Proverbs 18:2 – A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.

Proverbs 12:15 – The way of a fool [is] right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel [is] wise.

Proverbs 29:20 – Seest thou a man [that is] hasty in his words? [there is] more hope of a fool than of him.

We have not always lived in such foolish times, living such shallow lives. In The Great Conversation, Robert Hutchins noted how we in the West have lost our taste for those books and thoughts that made us great. We surrendered our depth for nothing in return.

“Education in the West has been steadily deteriorating; the
rising generation has been deprived of its birthright; the
mess of pottage it has received in exchange has not been
nutritious; adults have come to lead lives comparatively
rich in material comforts and very poor in moral, intellectual,
and spiritual tone (p 2).”

But who cares if we live shallow lives?

“Their uneducated political power is dangerous, and their
uneducated leisure is degrading and will be dangerous (9).”

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