On a Beach Walk: No. 56 (Wisdom)

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I like walking the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Wisdom conjures many thoughts. What is wisdom? What does it mean to be wise? How do we become wise or achieve wisdom? How do we share wisdom? Does wisdom prevents us from seeing what needs to be seen? But it’s hard to imagine wisdom getting in the way. Regardless of the answers, there is no doubt that wisdom does not mean one as all the answers.

I think about how a baby transitions into a toddler.  The time from squirming to rolling over to  crawling to walking to running with accidents along the way. Isn’t wisdom similar? Doesn’t wisdom allow us to get our feet below us over time?

Looking at the transitions we go through in life – from the confined childhood to the pains of adolescence to the growth in adulthood to the resignation as we age. Think of all the wisdom gained during life. The mistakes that become experiences allowing us to be smarter today than yesterday as we turn the pages of life.

Gaining wisdom requires an awareness of the here and now that allows us to experience life and gain wisdom. But each of us do it differently because life affects us differently. Afterall, we range from the hard headed to the heavy hearted.

Every person is a collection of stories – some positive, others negative – a collection that we pass along through conversations at work, among friends, and within the family. A few people pass along their experiences through biographies. Others do so through a fictional book based on personal experiences or someone else’s life.

Experience is a history one shares with others – a history involving wisdom. However, humanity has a way of repeating the mistakes of others by proclaiming, “this is different.”

Experience allows us to deal with the unknown corner – to discover what’s around the corner or to avoid it – now that’s using wisdom!

Life has a way of slapping down past experiences with hopes of shedding a new light – a new way. After 12 years of teaching I discovered I had done a great job of doing it wrong. That internalization allowed me to step into a new frontier with confidence and gather new wisdom. At least I saw the light that the majority of my colleagues did not see – or chose to ignore it.

Wisdom – that process of thinking about our experiences, knowledge, understanding, and sensibility to make a choice.

Wisdom – the criss-crossing of interacting brain cells one uses for the betterment of both self and the many.

While much wisdom may comfort some, can wisdom get in the way? Can wisdom prevent us from seeing the reality or the vision? Experience and wisdom can block a fresh view – so we need someone to look at the situation through a different lens; a move that could move us to a different paradigm.

I look at the sea and wonder how many stories it holds. Then again, wisdom tells me that I’m thinking metaphorically.

Wisdom – something that comes from discernment while promenading the sand; after all, I like walking the beach for it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.