How many times have you been told that you must only listen to the experts’ advice?

Most of the time you don’t quite understand what the expert is talking about and how his response answers your question. Yet you hear on and hope that the advice you get will somehow solve your problem. There is a whole world built around the expertise of the experts, and who are you to second guess it and seek some more advice elsewhere?

You can credit my Ancient Greek ancestor Plato for that, thank you very much. He is famously a proponent of expert advice. When Crito, a wealthy Athenian (Crito, 46b-50a) asks Socrates, the philosopher, to whom he should confide for his son’s education, because ” whenever I take a look at any of those persons who set up to educate men, I am amazed; and every last one of them strikes me as utterly grotesque, to speak frankly between ourselves”, he is encouraged not to take anyone and everyone’s advice, but to listen only to experts who know best how to handle such matters. Crito agrees with Socrates that not all opinions are of equal value. One should follow the sound opinions of the wise people and not the flawed ones of the foolish. The opinions of the wise in any matter come from experts in those matters.

However, read a little more open-mindedly and you’ll see that what Socrates actually says is that if you think an activity is worth pursuing, do not pay attention to what the experts say. Just give serious consideration to the actual pursuit and practice it. “Don’t you realize that in every pursuit most of the practitioners are paltry and of no account, whereas the serious men are few and beyond price? For instance don’t athletics, money-making, and leadership strike you as fine things? And in each of these cases don’t you notice that the majority give a laughable performance of these respective tasks?”

Who am I to argue with Socrates, right? I am Greek and I am a woman.

In my culture (in neighboring Italy and several other cultures, too), we, women, are the experts. As I was growing up, If you had a cold, your grandmother would confidently rub your back and your chest with blue spirit, the one used for lamps. Then she would put a woolen cloth, probably cut from your grandfather’s worn-out jumper -that was recycling and sustainability before the West made of it a thing of the experts, and order you to get under the blankets. Then your mother would bring soup from some animal bones with plenty of pepper and lemon, and off to sleep you went. In three days’ time, you’d be ready to take off like a partridge, as the saying goes. Nobody would dear take on those women on things of their expertise.

If you have ever wandered around some paved streets in the Greek countryside, late in the afternoon, you might have seen older and younger women sitting around and talking, and talking, while their hands would simultaneously create some crochet pattern as if they were blindfolded. That is multi-tasking and art therapy together, before “the experts” put a label on it.

The reason why I am sharing this is that I want you to be free and confident in your womanhood, as any human deserves to be since we have all been created free and beautiful and wise.

This is my life purpose and my heart’s desire. To pass on to you the wisdom of my ancestors, and the confidence to use it. Sitting on a wicker stool, watching the world go by and sharing our woman wisdom.