Having an interesting discussion about “Wisdom” on Google+ with a few people. It started with the question of “what is wisdom”.
Wikipedia says that Wisdom is:“… deep understanding and realization of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to choose or act or inspire to consistently produce the optimum results with a minimum of time, energy or thought. It is the ability to optimally (effectively and efficiently) apply perceptions and knowledge and so produce the desired results. Wisdom is also the comprehension of what is true or right coupled with optimum judgment as to action.”
Wise people I have known have shared some characteristics, they were:
humble, tolerant, and very accepting – of course they all had their opinions on various topics, but absolutely no absolutist tendencies – they all shared the “I could be wrong…” attitude. They never made you feel judged or inadequate, and are just wonderful people to be around.
Pursuing this line of thought in some more threads about wisdom, I found this:
“…..relative to young and middle-aged people, older people make more use of higher-order reasoning schemes that emphasize the need for multiple perspectives, allow for compromise, and recognize the limits of knowledge.”
How nice to read that, while we lose some cognitive function with age, there can be compensations!
In our discussion on Google+, we went through the knowledge vs. wisdom path, and with it came an interesting idea, that a hermit who had meditated for years may be wise but not knowledgeable and also the question of how can this hermit be wise, if he is all by himself in the cave?
This leads me to wonder whether wisdom could be something that is co-created – I cannot be wise in a vacuum. Assuming the hermit comes out of his cave, he would still need another person who delivers the prompts for the wisdom through questions, etc. Wisdom needs interaction to become visible, to come into being. This would make wisdom (or at least its expression) a social construct.
As always, your ideas are welcome!