General Question

Ivan's avatar

Have you ever received wisdom from an unlikely source?

Asked by Ivan (13479points) June 26th, 2009

Today, I was driving behind a garbage truck that had a quote painted on the back of it.

“The goal of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but progress.”

The quote is a little generic and cheesy, and it wasn’t attributed to anyone, but I still love it.

Any similar tales?

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30 Answers

SirBailey's avatar

My daughter, who is brave when it comes to medical procedures and always was (unlike her father) once told me “dad, when I know I have to have it done, I have it done”.

I’m trying to follow her advice.

CMaz's avatar

Fluther is as unlikely as they come!

You all rock! And, sometimes I roll off my chair.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

The son of a friend when he was 4 told me, “you smile more than you frown and that’s a good thing.”

gooch's avatar

I rarely watch TV and never talk shows. I never would turn on a TV for advice but while flipping channels on a rainy day I heard Dr. Phil say, “You can be right or you can be happy”.Man he was so right.

DrBill's avatar

Children, they all have an unpolluted, and pure vision of the world.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

The guy on the back of the garbage truck told my little brother to stay in school… that was an eye opener.

Ivan's avatar


Garbage trucks seem to be just a bastion of great tips.

cak's avatar

Both of my children, at various times, have been the best source of wisdom. I think it’s that they aren’t jaded. They can still look at things with an innocence that we may have lost along the way.

benjaminlevi's avatar

@gooch Therefore, Dr. Phil is not happy.

bythebay's avatar

I concur with those who have said children. My own children are wise beyond their young years and impart their unjaded wisdom without even knowing it.

hug_of_war's avatar

I don’t think children are an unlikely source

YARNLADY's avatar

I was surprised to hear some long haul truck drivers that didn’t fit my preconceived ideas. I was eating lunch at a truck stop when I overheard a conversation discussing the relative merits of two different language teaching tapes. One man said he was almost through the intermediate french, and wasn’t satisfied with it, and the other said his Spanish learning tape was excellent.

Jack79's avatar

My former boss at the radio station was quite wise.

tadpole's avatar

everyone you meet can tell you something if you listen to them….

sorry to sound pretentious…..:)

Bluefreedom's avatar

From a very unlikely source actually. I received it from a Ouija Board. I asked, it answered, and I took it on faith that the information was correct.

Jeruba's avatar

There’s no such thing as an unlikely source. Anything can spark a realization—a small or great enlightenment. Something as minor as a remark overheard in an elevator, as innocuous as a fortune cookie, as silly as a magazine horoscope written for the wrong sign, or as impersonal as a line in a story can strike a chord and cause us to see something new. Is a garbage can unlikely? a view from a hilltop? an old shoe? a spider? The mind that is ready is already wise.

The growth of wisdom takes place in you. And that is the likeliest of places.

walterallenhaxton's avatar can be found anywhere but mostly it comes from thinking things through.

bythebay's avatar

@walterallenhaxton: No, cannot be found anywhere.

walterallenhaxton's avatar

@bythebay It is not that it can not be found but that people keep throwing their treasures in the trash.

bythebay's avatar

@walterallenhaxton: No, (as you mentioned above) is gone.

Ivan's avatar


Thanks for going well out of your way to remind us all of that. On, we used the terms ‘’ and ‘wisdom’ interchangeably. My first draft of this question used the term ‘,’ but I didn’t want any unnecessary side banter, so I replaced it.

MacBean's avatar

@Ivan: Well, I guess you’re smarter than @walterallenhaxton, then, since this isn’t

walterallenhaxton's avatar

@MacBean Judging peoples intelligence on scanty evidence it the hight ogfwisdom?

MacBean's avatar

@walterallenhaxton: One can only use the evidence one is given.

mattbrowne's avatar

Several years ago I found the following Chinese proverb written in a public restroom stall next to all the obscene and lewd drawings: “Dig the well before you are thirsty.”

J0E's avatar

“Life’s a garden, dig it.” – Joe Dirt

jeanna's avatar

I’ve had a few drug dealers say unlikely things over the years when I was around them. I always found it quite interesting how much they asked me to not do drugs. This one guy went on and on about life, death and all things in-between; there was a great deal of wisdom (and in what he said. I cannot recall every bit of the conversation, but I remember him looking intently towards me and going on about how unlike everyone else I was. He said “if you only do what you have to in moderation, one day that smile of yours will shine more than anyone else’s but you have to keep looking ahead and leave all of us to rot here because we’ve already neglected our own smiles.” I didn’t see him again. We were going on Christmas break and he ended up getting busted by the cops, forced to leave school and went to jail for 6 months.

tadpole's avatar

@jeanna that’s rather profound…have you followed what he said to you…do you think it had an influence on what you have done….a lasting influence…

jeanna's avatar

@tadpole I like to believe that I have followed it as much as I can. I am known to speak about moderation often.

tadpole's avatar

@jeanna “everything in moderation, including moderation”....

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