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Who is the Wise Man?

Mark Twain once remarked that, when he was twenty, he was appalled at how ignorant his father was regarding the ways of the world. After he turned thirty, he was amazed at how much his old man had learned in ten years.

When I was two years old
I had all the questions
What is this? How’s it work? How come? and Why?
And my personal favorite – Why not?
The world was waiting for me to travel and discover
Everything was bright and new and clean
I found so many clues to unravel and uncover
I couldn’t wait to make it on the scene
And I was crying out –

Who is the wise man?
Who is the Scholar?
Who has the answers to these questions I ask?
I need some direction, some truth I can follow
Tell me – I really want to know
I need some answers now, I really do
When I was two

When I was eighteen years old
I had all the answers
This is this. That is that. Any fool can tell
And my personal favorite – Because
The world was waiting for me to guide it through tomorrow
I thought everyone depended on my lead
There were souls in dire peril all wallowing in sorrow
I was now prepared to fill the need
And I was shouting out –

I am the wise man!
I am the scholar!
I have the answers to these questions you ask
I know the direction, the truth you should follow
I’ll tell you everything you should know
Simply listen and you’ll see what I mean
When I was eighteen

Now I am older
Nothing is as clear as it was once before
My answers seem colder
I’m not even very sure what to ask anymore
And now I’m crying out –

Who is the wise man?
Who is the scholar?
Who knows the answers and the questions to ask?
I need some direction, some truth I can follow
Tell me – I really want to know
Tell me now – I’m begging on my knees
Won’t you tell me please?

1998 Ross D. Martin, MD, MHA

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