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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Words That Can Haunt Me, Part 3: Wisdom

One of my gifts is my memory. Most of my life, I've been able to recall much of what I've been exposed to when I've later needed that information. I've always enjoyed learning; the facts I learn seem to stick with me.

The dark side of my gift is the way I've sometimes let my good memory get in the way of becoming wise. It's an easy trap I've fallen into: Being able to recall facts has contributed to me sometimes overlooking the value of experiences. At other times, my good recall has been a poor substitute for me learning as much as I might from my interactions with others. Since wisdom is about the extracting of essential kernels from knowledge AND experience, the word sometimes haunts me.

What is wisdom about for you? And equally important, which of your gifts has a dark side that might create un-wanted consequences?   

1 comment:

  1. This is confusing for me and maybe for other readers...first, how is recalling facts not part of the 'experience'? don't they go hand in hand? I am not sure that good recall means that you miss out on some other component of an interaction.

    I guess if you are so busy concentrating on the person's clothing, or environment you are in, or a 'factual' item that you recall and you miss the jist of what they are saying..that would be BAD.

    But from talking to you intensely, you've seemed to recall quite well the full picture...facts and experiences, feelings, emotions,setting, mood, etc. Am I right?

    I'm not sure there is a dark side to the gift of recall. You either recall nothing or everything. If you recall nothing or very very little, then it is not a gift of recall therefore logically there is no dark side.

    For me, wisdom is a combination of recall of facts and experience all rolled into one big, well, experience.

    There is no dark side to becoming wise. Perhaps a very negative experience (ironically, those are the best for becoming wise)will be painful to recall. This is the dark side that cannot be avoided as one becomes wise.

    The most important thing about wisdom is to exercise your wisdom-gathering muscle, everyday; never stop growing, changing, adjusting, learning and experiencing new things, new tasks, new people, new stories, new environments. In time that new experience adds to your wisdom bank.