The blog I posted today at Big Think emerged from my own thinking about the difference between information and wisdom. Perhaps it’s because I have a birthday on the horizon. Birthdays are a good time to assess what’s been learned. — or not learned. Also, I’ve offered advice lately to my young adult children to find those efforts accepted with enthusiasm at some points in time and rejected as lacking relevance to their modern lives at other times. My husband and I have discussed how much “wisdom” to share with our children, as there is a time and place for everything. These and other events had me thinking about how some of us are seekers of wisdom while others are avoiders and these two different paths lead to very different outcomes.
Are you a seeker of wisdom? Are you interested in stories of struggles people face and how they deal with them? Do you observe how some people are able to take what they learn and transform this knowledge into guidelines for life? Are you fascinated by the perceptiveness people show when they essentially “read between the lines,” seeing what is really going on rather than taking what is said or done at face value? Have you tried to develop this skill?
Another way to assess our inclination to seek or avoid wisdom is to think of those people who have significantly influenced our lives. Quite often wisdom is passed from one person to another in the form of stories. Some cultures are more inclined than others to share stories. Given all the technological forms of information input we have now, with young people especially prone to use these forms, it’s hard not to wonder whether wisdom, especially in story form, is being given short shrift. If so, there will be a lot more learning the hard way — as without wisdom that’s the only way.