While I am usually not one to quote the bible. I was recently struck by a verse that I saw in an article. In Ecclesiastes 10:10 the writer relates what I would think is almost everyday folk wisdom; it states, in part; “If the axe is dull and he does not sharpen the edge then he must exert much more strength. Wisdom has the advantage of giving success.
While it may seem foolish to ascribe human attributes to inanimate objects, anyone who has ever tried to split a piece of twisted green oak, or even a freshly logged section of birch knows how stubborn an inanimate object can seem. A dull axe only makes the effort that much more difficult. In my earlier years I managed to break more than one axe handle because of my frustrating and excessive efforts in using a dull axe. I would flail away at the offending hunk of wood like a madman, getting angrier by the minute. Usually I would end up getting the dull axe stuck hopelessly in the offending piece of wood. Extracting the axe was often a chore better left to priests than a swearing young man.
I have to chuckle now at the conclusion of that verse, “wisdom has the advantage of giving success.” I have come to the conclusion that knowledge is communicable but wisdom is not. Let that thought sink in. I now own an old double blade axe. It is sharpened razor sharp on one edge and and on a convex side for the other. This allows me to cleanly cut a branch with the razor sharp side, and is equally effective in splitting wood nicely with the convex side. The convex side acts similar to a wedge. I keep my axe immaculately clean and sharp. I still occasionally get it stuck, but not as much as when I was younger and more impetuous. I guess you would call that wisdom.
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