What is Wisdom? Is it an actual thing, a skill that can be learned? or just a knack that some have? Is it different from ‘Intelligence’? 

~4 Minute Read

    I don’t know about you, but I tend to flip between either feeling like the world is circling the drain, or like we’re moving toward some higher-plane.
    Destructive and hate-spewing leaders seem to be taking center stage more and more, successfully inciting aggression in generations that are obsessed with all that’s shallow and gaudy, courtesy of social media platforms that warp and brainwash their once-promising minds, as art seems to be growing stagnant and driven purely by cash and greedy puppeteering production companies, all the while the environment is proceeding through blatant stages of self-destruction (incited by seemingly unavoidable human short-sightedness). 
    On the other hand, we’re living in the most globalised and open-minded community the planet has ever known, with support for all races, all sexual preferences, and forms of gender or social identity growing exponentially across most of the developed world, who together are doing all they can to reverse the systems of destruction incited by industry and greed, and are innovating sustainable technology and lifestyles that grant us all the elements of life we could want and need, all against the backdrop of baffling scientific advances that truly test our imaginations, be it living on Mars or unraveling what lies beneath even Quantum Mechanics.
 
    A knife’s edge, between ‘what the hell is going on’ and ‘we got this’. The common thread? Individual, human action or ‘choice’.
We can’t control what the universe throws at us, and we can’t dictate how our fragile minds are shaped and sculpted by all the factors that go into defining us, yet we do have some say. We are not just leaves in the cosmic wind.
 
    What does this have to do with Wisdom? Well to me, Wisdom is precisely that– the art of learning how to navigate that ‘cosmic wind’. All the intelligence in the world is useless if you don’t have a deeper sense of when or where to use it; understanding the physical laws of the universe won’t help you convince a global species to stop blowing itself up. Wisdom, on the other hand, is what leads one man to stand in front of a tank and grind the avalanche of human ideas to a halt, no matter how fleeting; it is wisdom that enables single individuals to spread growth and prosperity far beyond their tiny physical realm. The wisdom of a grandmother is what shapes us into happy, sustainable people, not the skills that schools tell us are valuable to society.
 
Obviously, however, it cannot operate in isolation– it requires different skills, different ways of life, in order to operate. Wisdom is more like glue, like va va voom, that’ll take your rocket from the moon to a different galaxy altogether. Ironically, it is wisdom that tells us this, that it is better to be well-rounded and open-minded, than to be narrow, sharp, and static. It is also wisdom that tells me this is all nonsense.
    So this is just my picture. I have but one perspective, in this sea of 7,000,000,000+ human perspectives (ignoring all those others in the past 10,000+ years!).
    And yet, there is some kind of concrete reality beneath it all, some common ground we share, and there are some kind of ‘truths’ – even if they may only be transient. Learning these truths, learning how to navigate reality with more than just one hand or eye or toe, is Wisdom.
Seeking to understand and pursue Wisdom, is Philosophy (literally, Phylos Sophia).
If you’ve ever wanted to try and do things less-shit, to help those you love and nourish more than just your tiny patch of grass, you’ve pursued Wisdom, you’ve done Philosophy.
Next stop, I’ll be going more into Philosophy, and why it’s got such a bad rap these days– i.e. why chances are you couldn’t care less about it. For now I just wanted to tickle your mind a little, to get you thinking about more than just work-life-eat-sex-friends-sleep.
 
What do you classify as wisdom? Who is the wisest person you can think of, and why so? Should we be putting more effort into wisdom in order to save the world, or something else?

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