Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.
In this recent technological era we can gain unparralleled access to the very best people in our field of interest.
Most of them even do Masterclasses to teach you everything they have learnt on their journey.
We are often told in the marketing blurb ‘they have made the mistakes so now you don’t need to’.
According to Proverbs, however, this will not make us wise.
We are instructed to walk with the wise – hō·w·lêḵ – to go along with, keep pace with, to be conversant with.
Rabbi’s like Jesus did not just ‘teach’ in the synagogues, as we might here a preacher in a pulpit, but every footstep, every conversation, every gesture, even the way he ate his meals, would be observed by his disciples and imitated.
A teacher’s wisdom was the sum of every part of them, physical, spiritual, and thought.
Literally, walking in the footsteps of those wiser than ourselves in our field of interest, creativity, spiritually, or our work, will help us to become yeḥ·kām – to be wise in word, action, or thoughts. This word only occurs three times in the Old Testament, with all of them occuring in Proverbs.
I am not suggesting that we ignore every bit of wisdom which isn’t given to us in person – as much as I might like it, I cannot take a walk with Claude Monet if I want to paint ponds – but we should perhaps make more of an effort to form relationships/friendships – mentors – where we can experience their gifts in proximity.
Find a mentor/teacher and howlek them!