>Fine Wine

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“If you’re too big to follow, you’re too small to lead.” – Orrin Woodward

Many people are turned off by the very thought of “following” anyone. Even so, we follow people on Twitter, we follow the news, we follow the favorite sports team, etc. To follow does not mean to do so blindly. The question is not whether you follow, you do. The question is, do you follow with eyes open? If you follow blindly, you’ll never gain the wisdom needed to lead when your time comes. On the other hand, if you ignore what everyone else is doing, you might as well be blindly following the blind.

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” – Aristotle

Education is like a fine wine. Most people think of drinking anything as a one-step process, but in to a wine aficionado, it is at least a three-step process—outside of pouring it! I will admit, I am not personally an expert on wines, thought I understand the concept. Upon receiving a glass of wine, the natural motion is to circle the liquid in the glass and smell its bouquet. That’s the first step. Secondly, the taster would draw the wine into his mouth, and purposefully taste its flavor. Then, and only then, does the taster move to the next step of either swallowing it (accepting it) or spitting it out.

In wine, this last step is generally predetermined by the purpose of the tasting. Is the taster experiencing a single glass of wine for personal satisfaction, or sampling a variety of different wines in order to make a selection. A liberally educated person drinks deep of great books and other exceptional media for the benefit of his mind. In doing so, he must be vigilant in his decision to accept or reject what is coming into his mind. Only with time are his mental “tastes” sophisticated enough that he can inspire others to follow him.

So if you never taste the fine wines of life, you can never lead others to their secrets.

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Quotes

"For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction."

- Kahlil Gibran

"All television is educational television. The question is: what is it teaching?"
- Nicholas Johnson, author:
"We need the media to be presenting pictures of possibility not just continuing to be prophets of doom and gloom."
- Kevin Kelly, Wired

"How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortunes of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it, except the pleasure of seeing it."

- Adam Smith
"And the science is overwhelming that for creative, conceptual tasks, those if-then rewards rarely work and often do harm."
- Daniel Pink, author: Drive

"I wish we had a Problem-Solver Party because we have very big problems that need solving. And I think a lot of our attention is addressed to the wrong problems."
- David McCullough, author: 1776
"The goal shouldn't be to have a lot of people to yell at, the goal probably should be to have a lot of people who choose to listen."
- Seth Godin, author: Tribes
"The role of the media is to disseminate information, highlight important current events, and to essentially stand as a witness, an observer of cultural, political, community, and educational events. A healthy media provides a check on the government and increases the political astuteness of republican citizens."
- Stephen Palmer, The Center for Social Leadership
"Advertisers and politicians rely on a half-educated public, on people who know little outside of their own specialty, because such people are easy to deceive with so-called experts, impressive technical or sociological jargon, and an effective set of logical and psychological tricks."
- Robert Harris
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
- John Adams
"I know no safe repository of the ultimate power of society but people. And if we think them not enlightened enough, the remedy is not to take the power from them, but to inform them by education."
- Thomas Jefferson
"Fathers and mothers have lost the idea that the highest aspiration they might have for their children is for them to be wise--as priests, prophets or philosophers are wise. Specialized competence and success are all that they can imagine."
- Allan Bloom, author: The Closing of the American Mind
"He that walketh with wise men shall be wise, but a companion of fools shall be destroyed."
(Proverbs 13:20)
"If you are not a thinking man, to what purpose are you a man at all."

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge
"I learn a lot from TV. Everytime someone turns one on, I go in the other room and read a book."
- Groucho Marx, comedian: Duck Soup
"There are two freedoms - the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where he is free to do what he ought."
- Charles Kingsley

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