The Thursday Thesis – 14/3/2019
According to the Bible story, God rewarded King Solomon for his sacrifice by granting the king a wish. Solomon was no mug and asked Big G for the gift of Wisdom, which God duly bestowed upon him.
Wisdom has always been associated with older people – youngsters seldom have it – and It seems such an earnest quality that we should definitely try to get our hands on some.
But what is Wisdom?
I’d define it as a deep and wide understanding of a situation or a field of study: the depth comes from prolonged attention to one’s theme or idea, the breadth from wider interests both connected and seemingly unconnected to one’s field.
To put it another way: paying attention to one thing for a long time, whilst remaining curious about everything else.
So Wisdom isn’t the uber-geek’s obsession with the minutiae of their fixation: neither is it the superficial casual interest in whatever is flavour of the month. To the Wise Person, everything is germane and pertinent – everything counts - either within their field or setting it in context with all other things.
This thought crystallised for me as I listened to an audiobook whilst driving. The author said that “A fool sees only the differences – the Wise Man sees the sameness”.
Ping – message received!
That was what I’d been niggling at as I tried to define Wisdom in my own mind: the Wise Man saw that everything was the same because he’d lived a long time and could observe patterns because he’d been paying attention all that time.
Tribal Elders were revered for their wisdom, their treasure hoard of accumulated experience and condensed time.
Deep insight into one’s speciality, coupled with an understanding of its context and place in the universe is Wisdom.
As a teacher and coach, this is my stock-in-trade.
© Neil Cowmeadow 2019
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