Sharp as the hound

‘Sharp’ is word that Irish people use to mean clever – you know “the sharpest tool in the tool box” sort of thing – or “not the sharpest tool”, as the case may be. A sharp tool is a sharpened tool – honed, worked upon, cared for, appreciated.

One of my favourite seanfhocail is ‘Aithnigh cú géur a lócht – A sharp hound knows its faults’.  It points out that knowing/acknowledgement is the key – the sharp hound knows that and adjusts accordingly. The hound bad in the turn may sprint faster to avoid turns, the hound that may not be the fastest runner, hunts by cunning and the hound that might not be the best swimmer will display good skills on land.

So while it is about putting your best foot forward; playing to your advantage – it is also firmly about knowing your disadvantages, not getting out of your depth. Be clever with your skills and be clever in knowing your weaknesses too.

Of course you can work on those weaknesses. Knowing your faults means you can compensate for or correct them  – be that some cognitive behavioural therapy or motivational reading to eradicate your doubts or a night course or weekend workshop to up skill were required.

Maybe it is to use the weakness as a strength – if you are a nervous speaker then hone brevity, if you are not strong enough to fell the tree, design a better canoe. If you can’t come to love yourself – at least forgive yourself.  Do the clever thing.



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