What is wisdom? What? What even is wisdom? And how? When where why?!
Written large or small… Maybe both?
Wisdom is said by some to be knowing what the right action is at the right time, and in carrying out that action.
In that sense, wisdom is more than experience. Experience is merely the aggregation of sensations over time. Two dimensional. Wisdom is a third dimension, the ability to know of many choices one can make, see how they will play out, and choose.
Yet is there wisdom in saying that there is only experience? Depictions of wisdom often describe it in terms of universals. Describing it only as experience strips it down solely to the individual. Insists on context radically. A lifetime of understanding.
Yet other depictions or wisdom say the greatest wisdom is to approach every situation discarding all experience, treat it as new, for only then in each moment can on fully receive the experience of that moment. A paradox: The best way to gain experience is to discard experience.
And I could go on about it… There are so many versions of explaining wisdom. They compete and jostle. They’re complete in and of themselves yet when you start comparing them it’s clear no one definition could be complete.
It’s maddeningly, utterly, and bizarrely fascinating.
Wisdom I have. People tell me I do. Some kind, perhaps, I’ve reluctantly agreed. But what I struggle with is this: Do I have enough in me for this moment? To lead or even just for myself?
We live in a surge of foolishness, or perhaps merely are watching the foolishness that has always been there come out to make a most unmerry reveling in chaotic destruction. People with far more power than they have wisdom. Apex predator-fools feasting on the foolishness of others. It’s happened before, but not at a time when multiple nations have enough power to obliterate the human species several times over and reduce the world to hell scape, or even choke and smother ourselves to death in heat if we survive the moment but ignore the fact that we’re increasingly overwhelming our own home planet’s ability to forgive our pyromania.
Do I have enough wisdom in me? To lead or even for myself? Amid all of that? And if I don’t measure up, how can I grow to?
Is it any surprise that I’m having trouble sleeping lately? No, I think I can have a good laugh at that question.
In some real sense it doesn’t matter. I have what I have. It will have to do, regardless.
It’s in this particular exasperation or daring to demand to ask of myself and if anyone within earshot what wisdom is. The exercise is humbling. There’s a new answer every time to learn from. And in that equally real sense these questions do matter. I learn from them. Or at least I give myself another chance to. This questioning of my own capacity for wisdom to the point where I’m flummoxed about what I could even call wisdom.
Written large and small…
Meanwhile… That’s enough out of me for one night. Time for the wisdom of rest. I hope. Or at least I’ll try again.