I Was Young, Carefree and Clueless

clueless-is-no-excuse-road-signThere are people who don’t have a clue that they don’t have a clue. No matter how gently and compassionately you try to tell such people that they don’t have a clue, they act insulted, get defensive and accuse you of being arrogant.

Their response proves the point: the more unenlightened someone is, the more they will take offense when told they are unenlightened. Someone who is enlightened and mature considers criticism objectively; he or she either accepts the criticism as true and changes his/her behavior accordingly, or judges the criticism as lacking in merit and dismisses it without a second thought.

I know this to be true because I used to be among the chronically clueless. I was wildly immature and unenlightened, but you never would have convinced me of that (and believe me, many tried). Ah, the bulletproof days of youth. *cringes at the thought*

Today, whenever I catch myself judging someone who doesn’t “get it,” I recall the time when I didn’t “get it” either. Those days were not so long ago. Just because I’ve figured out something does not mean that someone else should have, no matter how old or experienced they may be. We all have our own lessons to learn in our own way and in our own time. All we can do is plant a seed of enlightenment here and there and be on our way.

Great spiritual leaders will always be challenged by mediocre minds.
Albert Einstein


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12 Responses to “I Was Young, Carefree and Clueless”

  1. Kim Wencl Says:


  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, Kim!

  3. Kim Says:

    I hesitated to send it because it was so short … but it summed up my feelings perfectly.

  4. Phil Bolsta Says:

    I wish I could be so concise sometimes! Thanks again!

  5. Darcy Says:

    Interesting post Phil,

    I don’t know if I’d necessarily equate “enlightened” with “mature” though. Also, if I may be clueless for a moment (or fifteen), there are people more awakened than I that I might label as having a touch of spiritual snobbery in my weaker times…so your post can apply on the other end of the spectrum as well, I think. Simply put, the student and the teacher learn from each other- ever the student, ever the teacher.

    Just my two cents…smile…

  6. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Quite right, Darcy. After the initial spiritual “awakening,” attitudes range from extreme humility to an unwarranted sense of spiritual superiority. By their spiritual snobbery, such folks prove that they still don’t “get it,” albeit in a different way. The path to enlightenment is a winding one, with many missteps and misperceptions along the way. If it was a straight line, well, what would be the fun in that?

  7. Simon Says:

    Speaking personally, I continue to be clueless on a regular basis – but at least I *know* I’m clueless, and that is progress…

    Anyway, Phil, I finally got round to doing a post about your book. Sorry it’s taken so long. You can find it here:

  8. knightofswords Says:

    Enlightenment wears so many costumes that it’s dangerous to presume one person “knows” and another person “doesn’t know.” As you say, we’re on different roads with different lessons on them. Perhaps I came here to learn ABC while my neighbor is working on XYZ.


  9. Shauna Lundquist Says:

    I’ve always tried to tell people of my enlightenment, and what I’ve learned, but see that they just don’t “get it”. It is hard to try to explain it to them, and I believe in just planting that seed to spark curiosity, and it may or may not make a difference. I find this mostly with positive thinking, being grateful, appreciating what we have, and knowing we can create our own lives. I’m hoping that people learn from me just by example.

  10. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thank for the post, Simon! Very much appreciated! Yes, it is huge progress to recognize your cluelessness. Awareness is always the first step!

  11. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Well said, Malcolm. Two people can both “know” but may interpret that knowledge differently and represent it to the world in markedly different ways. That is why intent is so important. To live with a pure, loving heart is truly all that matters.

  12. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Agreed, Shauna. Modeling right living and right thinking is the most powerful way to reach and inspire others. I’ve had people tell me how much I’ve influenced them and I have no idea what they’re talking about! The world needs people who others can look at and think, “So that’s what’s possible!”

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