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Friday, July 25, 2014

My Grade (So Far): Wisdom

wisdom: knowledge of what is true or right coupled with good judgment.

Using that definition, how would you grade yourself (so far) on wisdom? Personally, I'm glad I graded myself on twenty nine earlier attributes before arriving at this tricky word.

First off, the words "true" and "right" from that definition give me serious pause. How do I reasonably assess whether my knowledge is true or right? How do you? Then the "good judgment" piece slows me down further. I suppose my judgment is OK or else I'd have been incarcerated long ago (or on reality TV). But over 64+ years, some of my lapses in judgment have been fairly significant and given my arrest following a public outburst at almost 62, I can't claim they were all youthful indiscretions. All this makes settling on a self-grade for wisdom really tough.

It gets even messier when considering Benjamin Disraeli's words: "A man who is not liberal when he is young has no heart; a man who is not conservative when he is old has no head". Uh-oh - more trouble in wisdom land for Pat. Guess I'll go with a "C" and hope no one is paying too much attention.


  1. What a thought provoking post! Filled with cultivated wisdom that is not afraid to look within to foster personal growth.

    As for 'true' and 'right', I agree that we cannot expect to ever fully know that we are headed on the correct path. Many before us, and even in our own time, have acted in atrocious ways, all the while believing they were following knowledge that was 'true' and 'right'. But consider what Nelson Mandela said, "A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination." If our heart and our head are in agreement in a loving place, then we can be assured that our knowledge will be 'true' and 'right'.

    As for judgement, whether good or poor, it is by definition thoughtful and purposeful. For my growth, I like to consider my "lapses in judgement" in terms of 'reaction vs. response'. When I react, I neglect to use judgement at all. When I respond, I do so with thoughtful and purposeful action. I like to imagine a person who turns to find a spider on her shoulder. A reaction jumps up, swatting and flailing, never really knowing where the spider will end up. A response takes its time, thoughtfully brushes the spider off to the floor, then takes further action as necessary. Lapse of judgement/reaction vs. use of judgement/response. All the same, I suppose, just different ways to look at it. I find with the reaction vs. response idea, I am able to wrap my head around it all and effectively work on it for success in future opportunities.

    Thank you for the mental exercise! My jury is out on whether or not I agree with Benjamen Disraeli, so I will need to ponder that one some more, but I won't bore you with my outcomes.


    1. d; Thanks again for your comments. Another useful distinction - react vs. respond. I recall writing (or maybe starting to write?) a post about that. If I find it (if I wrote it), I'll send it to you.