“The fool looks at a finger that points at the sky.”

On getting the point.

Meg Hartley via my newsletter, Halcyon Tidings

* See end for source of subject/title quote! 🎬🍿 * 

Hey there, 

Welcome to another Halcyon Tidings, your bi-weekly dose of real but uplifting takes on life, getting through it, and trying to be the best humans we can be. (Also much randomness.) This newsletter’s subject quote, “The fool looks at a finger that points at the sky,” reminds me of the film, Look Up, where society disregards an urgent apocalyptic warning because of how it’s delivered; there’s far too much focus on society’s messengers instead of their actual messages, and when we zero in on people or presentation instead of substance we wind up missing the point. 

The quote seems to be adapted from the words of Chinese sage, Confucius: “When a wise man points at the moon the imbecile examines the finger.” 

I consulted Reddit for modern interpretations on this ancient wisdom—
Yellowsnow2 explained, “It means the imbecile will ignore the message by focusing on the messenger. You see this all the time when debating politics on reddit. This is also known as an ad hominem [attack of the character, motive, or some other attribute of the person making an argument rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself].”
Or, as RogueRoamer mused, – “Don’t confuse scientific models with the aspects of reality they are modeling. Don’t confuse religion with the true highest properties of Being. Don’t confuse your sensory inputs with the real world. Don’t confuse the messenger with the message.”
Finally, grearzilla hilariously put it, “When I point at a toy for my smart dog, she looks where I’m pointing and gets it. When I point at a toy for my dumb dog, he stares at my finger like it owes him something.”

May we all be wise enough to look towards the toy instead of just staring at the finger.

See ya (-ish) in a couple weeks,



More Words:
Artfully Autistic, ⚡ #StopTheShock Action Alert ⚡ – 5/25 action (tomorrow), please read!
Ravishly, Why People With Chronic Illness Fake Being Healthy
The Bookbaby – Underneath It All: Peeling Back Societal Bullsh*t to Reveal a More Whole You

* SUBJECT/TITLE QUOTE: The subject’s quote, “The fool looks at a finger that points at the sky,” is from Amélie, a beautiful film about a likely-autistic (imo) woman on a quest to see if kindness can make a difference—finding adventure, connection, and love along the way. *

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