Thursday, February 13, 2014
"What, Exactly, Is Wisdom?"
More than once I've run into someone's saying (or writing) the idea that wisdom is healed pain. While that can be true enough, there are times when healed pain is either nothing more than healed pain, or else (and worse) when healed pain leads to something completely different, and a lot less constructive/positive than wisdom.
It seems unfortunate to me, too, that there are those who believe that wisdom only comes out of healed pain. I don't think wisdom is just healed pain. Here are a few of the things that I think wisdom also is:
While wisdom certainly is sometimes healed pain, it can also be the clarity and perspective that come from the light and view that are the most meaningful of life's joys
Wisdom is sometimes listening and hearing, rather than either hearing but not listening - or never listening and always only speaking.
Wisdom is sometimes watching and learning, rather than seeing and judging.
Wisdom is sometimes collecting enough of the more minor of life's experiences and seeing that they've added up to something more meaningful, and greater, than those individual parts.
Sometimes the most profound of wisdom can come from a child, when he still sees things with a simplicity, hope and love and before he has been taught to know better or before he has learned not to trust his own wisdom when he sees it before him, as clear as the sky and as bright as the sun.
There's no doubt that wisdom can, and often does, come from healed pain; but it's unfortunate that it is so often seen as only coming from that. Believing that wisdom always, and only, comes from healed pain suggests that wisdom is seldom more than anything but a consolation prize handed out to those who have either lost something or else never one or another thing at all (and maybe never will). Wisdom isn't a consolation prize for the have-not's, never-had's, never-will-have's or had-and-lost's. Sometimes wisdom is first prize, handed out in small pieces - without strings or heavy prices - to be collected on the journey from there to here, and beyond.