Thursday, 11 June 2015

Correction


Correction

Abdullah ben Yahya was showing a manuscript, which he had written, to a visitor.
This man said: “But this word has been incorrectly spelt."
He at once deleted the word and wrote it in the manner of which his guest approved.
When the man had left, Abdullah was asked: “Why did you do that, considering that the ‘correction’ was in fact accurate, and you wrote the wrong word where the original word had been right?”

He answered: “That was a social occasion. The man thought he was helping me, and thought that the expression of his ignorance was an indication of knowledge. I applied the behaviour of culture and politeness, not the behaviour of truth, because when people want politeness and social interchange, they cannot stand truth. Had I stood in relation to this man as teacher to student, matters would have been different. Only stupid people and pedants imagine their duty is to instruct everyone, when the motive of the people is generally not to seek instruction, but to attract attention.”
(from the collection of Sufi teaching stories Wisdom of the Idiots by Idries Shah)

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