At times the smartest path is ordinary and overlooked. Sometimes there is wisdom and beauty that we are too busy to see.
Crows play an important role in the two makings of the human experience: science and culture. Taken literally, the word corvus is Latin for crow or raven. Today the word is used in scientific classification for the genus of crows and ravens and the four-star constellation named by 2nd century mathematician Ptolemy.
Crow species are found across the globe. We see them all over the United States. Here in Nashville, American Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) are found most places you look. We might not think about them very often, but they happen to be one of the most intelligent animals on the planet. Their smarts are matched only by primates and, of course, humans.
While crows are far from humans in the gene pool, most of the same traits that make humans so successful also make crows so successful. Crows are social animals. They mate for life, raise their young together, look after one another. They pass skills and knowledge from one generation to the other. They are efficient with limited resources.
The crow plays an important role in culture. Stories of crows’ curious behavior and mythology spans from Aesop's Fables to Norse gods to American literature. In each of these tales, crows often share important lessons or forethought.
Investing includes a good bit of forethought, but also investing is about efficient allocation of resources. Investing is about learning from prior generations. Investing--at its core--is a combination of human culture and science. Math and intuition.
There are things to learn about investing that may seem ordinary but are, in fact, quite spectacular.
The real lesson of the Corvus crow is that there is wisdom to be found in some of the most everyday places. They are not exotic. You won’t find crows at your local zoo. They are not the largest or most colorful birds. They just succeed.