Wisdom arrives right after the event for which you needed it. How often that has happened in my life. It is frustrating and takes the wind right out of your sails. Where were you when I needed you, dear wisdom? Will you stay present with me so that the next time all I have to do is “call you up” and you will be available to me? Each day that goes by causes me to recognize how little wisdom I truly have gained. The longer I live, the less I feel I know. I have, for the most part, been able to learn the lessons of my life yet there seems to always be a “next” lesson. There is always the “next” bit of wisdom to be learned.
Wisdom is defined as a wise attitude, belief, or course of action; the ability to discern inner qualities and relationships; and good sense. These all have to do with knowledge, insight and judgment. We would all benefit from the being able to grasp and comprehend the obscure – to discern issues clearly and intelligently. How do you do that on a day to day basis? The Serenity Prayer often used to end twelve-step meetings states:
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Wisdom comes from experience, from making mistakes and learning from them. Try not to mistake knowledge for wisdom. Knowledge will give you a living but wisdom will give you a life. Immanuel Kant stated: “Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.” Know that wisdom does not come overnight…it often takes a lifetime. So honor older people who are so full of wisdom. Work to seek the wisdom of life through the ages yet continue to look at life through the eyes of a child. Gain wisdom in all the ways that are possible to you and then use it wisely.
“One’s first step in wisdom is to question everything – and one’s last is to come to terms with everything.” – George Christoph Lichtenberg