Wisdom – Free Ebook

Wisdom is one of the grandest and oddest words out there, so lofty it doesn’t sound like something one could ever consciously strive to be, unlike say being healthy or kind. Nevertheless, though it’s impossible ever to reach a stable state of wisdom, as an aspiration, wisdom deserves to be rehabilitated, and take its place among a host of other more typical goals one might harbor. Wisdom seems woven from many strands. The wise are, first and foremost, realistic about how challenging many things can be. They aren’t devoid of hope, that would be a folly of its own, but they’re conscious of the complexities entailed in any project; for example: raising a child, starting a business, spending an agreeable weekend with the family, falling in love. Knowing that something difficult is being attempted doesn’t rob the wise of ambitions, but it makes them more steadfast, calmer, and less prone to panic about the problems that will invariably come their way. Probably aware that much can and does go wrong, the wise are unusually alive to moments of calm and beauty, even extremely modest ones: they can take pleasure in a single uneventful sunny day, or some pretty flowers growing by a brick wall. It isn’t that they’re sentimental and naive, precisely the opposite. Because they’ve seen how hard things can be to get, they know how to draw the full value from the peaceful and the sweet whenever and wherever these arise. The wise know that all human beings, themselves included, are deeply sunk in folly. We all have irrational desires and want incompatible things. We’re prone to mood swings and buffeted by the curious demands of our sexuality The wise are unsurprised by the ongoing coexistence of deep immaturity and sexual perversity Alongside quite adult qualities like intelligence and morality. They know that we are barely evolved apes. Aware that at least half of the life is irrational they try, wherever possible to budget for madness and slow to panic when it reliably raised it’s head The wise take the business of laughing at themselves seriouly. They laugh about the constant collisions between the noble way they’d like things to be and the demented way they in fact often turn out The wise are realistic about social realtions. In particular, about how difficult it is to change people’s minds and have an effect on their lives. They are therefore extremely reticent about telling people too frankly what they think They have a sense of how seldom it’s useful to get censorious with others They want above all that things go well between people Even if this means not being totally honest. So they will sit with someone of an opposite political persuation and not try to convert them They will hold their tongue at someone who seems to be announcing a wrong headed plan For reforming the countre, educating their child or directing their personal lives They will be aware of how differently things can look through the eyes of others and will search more for what people have in common than what seperates them The wise have made their peace with the gap between how they would ideally want to be and what they are actually like They have come to terms with their iciocies, flaws, ugliness, limitations and drawbacks They are not ashamed of themselves and yet they understand their craziness They can give those close to them a fairly accurate map of the reasons why they are pretty hard to live with The wise are realistic about other people too. They recognize the extraordinary presures everyone is under to pursue their own ambitions, defend their interests and seek their own pleasures It can make other people appear extremely mean and purposedly evil but this would be to overpersonalize the issue The wise know that most hurt is not intentional. It’s a byproduct of the constant collision of blind competing egos in a world of scarce resources. The wise are therefore slow to anger and judge They don’t lead to the worst conclusions about what’s going on in the minds of others. They will be ready to forgive from a prone sense of how difficult every life is Harboring as it does so many frustrated ambitions, disappointments and longings The wise appreciate the pression people are under Of course they shouted, of course they were rude, naturally they want to over take on the inside lane The wise are generous to the reasons for which people might not be quite so nice They feel less persecuted by the agression and meanness of others because they have a sense of where it comes from a place of hurt The wise have a solid sense of what they can survive. They know just how much can go wrong and things will still be just about livable. the unwise person draws the boundaries of their contentment far too far out So that it encompasses and depends upon fame, money, personal relationships, popularity, health The wise person sees the advantages of all of these but also knows that they may before too long at a time of fate’s choosing, have to draw the borders right back and find contentment within a much more bounded space The wise persone does not envy idly They realize that there are some good reasons why they don’t have many of the things they really want They look at the tycoon or the film star and have a decent grasp of why they did not ever make it to that level It looks like just an accident, an unfair one but there were in fact some logical grounds They did not work as hard, they did not have anything like the drive or mental capacity or looks At the same time the wise see that some destinies are truly shaped by nothing more than accident. Some people are promoted randomly, companies that are not specially deserving can suddenly make it big Some people have the right parents. The winners are not all noble and good The wise appreciate the role of luck and do not curse themselves overly at those juncture where they have evidently not had as much of it as they would have liked In our abitious era it is common to begin with dreams of being able to pull of an emblemish life where one one can to get the major decisions of love and work right But the wise realize that it is impossible to fashion a spotless life One will make some extremely large and utterly uncorrectable errors in a number of areas Perfectionism is a wicked illusion and regret is unavoidable But regret lessens the more we see the more we see that error is endemic across the species One cannot look at anyone’s lifestory without seeing some devastating mistakes edged across it These errors are not incidental but sctructural. They arise because we all lack the information we need to make choices in time-sensitive situations We are all where it counts staring almost blind. The wise know that tremor is always just around the corner They have come to fear and sense its approach That is why they nurture such a strong commitment to the idea of being calm A quite evening feels like an achievement, a day without anxiety is something to be celebrated. The wise are not afraid of having a somewhat boring time It could and will again be so much worse

Leave a Reply