Mr or Ms Know-All!

Illustration of two men, one talking too much and the other listening

Very often we come across people who know everything, at least that’s what they presume: These highly-blessed know-alls act and speak like walkie-talkie Encyclopedia Britannicas.

Such people love to interrupt every conversation, and with not even a ‘I beg your pardon’, wax eloquent on subjects they know little about. Some of them, as we all see today, have even become political leaders and can even lead a country into a mess.

What they need to understand is that many others are also blessed with as much knowledge and insight or even more than they possess and that they need to listen as much as they expect others to listen to them.

Some years ago, a blackout occurred in New York. It happened in the middle of rush hour, and you can imagine the panic and chaos it caused as the whole of downtown Manhattan plunged into inky darkness. People were trapped everywhere, in elevators and subways, and outside on the streets traffic got so fouled up that nothing was moving.

Police Officer John was caught in the middle of all this, but luckily he was caught above ground. John knew New York like the back of his hand, but the darkness had such an overwhelming effect that he felt lost, helpless and frightened. He felt ashamed of his fear but as his unseeing eyes looked around all he felt was more afraid.

Suddenly he bumped into somebody.

He apologized and got talking with the stranger and it turned out that the man lived close to where John lived. The man offered to guide John home. John accepted the offer and began to follow him through the dark streets of New York, “Stay close to me, hold my hand and I promise to get you home!” the stranger said.

They advanced slowly, cautiously and carefully. The stranger talked little as he moved forward. He seemed sure of where he was going and showed little sign of any fear. This puzzled the officer greatly but he kept quiet and followed step by step till John finally recognized where he was.

The man had led him home.

As he parted with the stranger John held out his hand to the stranger and it was only then he realized his guide was blind!

In the darkness the only one who was sure of his way was the blind man!

All of us who speak as if we know it all need to realize that very often the person who can show you the way is the person you consider blind and incapable, and if we still can’t see the truth then we need to hear the words of the blind Helen Keller who said, “The greatest calamity that can befall a person is not that he should be born blind, but that he should have eyes and yet fail to see!”

If you are a Know-All, are you listening?

Robert Clements

Robert Clements is a journalist and newspaper columnist. With an estimated 6 million readership, Bob’s Banter is published in over 30 newspapers and magazines in nearly every state in India, as well as in the top newspapers of Bangladesh, Dubai and Pakistan and is also translated into Hindi. He blogs at www.bobsbanter.com and can be reached at bobsbanter@gmail.com
Robert Clements

Latest posts by Robert Clements (see all)

You may also like:

Robert Clements

Robert Clements is a journalist and newspaper columnist. With an estimated 6 million readership, Bob’s Banter is published in over 30 newspapers and magazines in nearly every state in India, as well as in the top newspapers of Bangladesh, Dubai and Pakistan and is also translated into Hindi. He blogs at www.bobsbanter.com and can be reached at bobsbanter@gmail.com