When did anyone ask you for your advice? When did you feel drawn to offer any wisdom to willing or unwilling hearers?
I am intrigued by Tony Blairs present role at Yale University and, indeed the establishment of his Faith Foundation ( see www.tonyblairoffice.org ). I suspect that history will be kinder to Blair as a person than we have been! Perhaps that applies to us all.
I read with interest his reflections to a new class of Yale – here is an extract
So to you as individuals, what wisdom, if any, have I learnt?
First, in fact, keep learning. Always be alive to the possibilities of the next experience, of thinking, doing and being.
When Buddha was asked, near the end of his life, to describe his secret, he answered bluntly: “I’m awake”.
So be awake.
Understand conventional wisdom, but be prepared to change it.
Feel as well as analyse; use your instinct alongside your reason. Calculate too much and you will miscalculate.
Be prepared to fail as well as to succeed, and realise it is failure not success that defines character.
I spent years trying to be a politician failing at every attempt and nearly gave up. I know you’re thinking: I should have.
Sir Paul McCartney reminded me that the first record company the Beatles approached rejected them as a band no-one would want to listen to.
Be good to people on your way up because you never know if you will meet them again on your way down.
Judge someone by how they treat those below them not those above them.
Be a firm friend not a fair-weather friend. It is your friendships, including those friends you made here at Yale, at this time, that sustain and enrich the human spirit.
A good test of a person is who turns up at their funeral and with what sincerity. Try not to sit the test too early, of course.
Good advice? What words of wisdom would you like to share??