(*An excerpt from Joe’s latest book, coming out later this year)
Extraordinary Wisdom – Part I
Throughout history, much has been written on the topic of wisdom. It has been studied, analyzed, and dissected for thousand of years. Attempts to put it in motion have been unfolding for hundreds of years before the birth of Christ and continue for thousands of years after his death. We even created an entire academic discipline devoted to the study of wisdom…we call it philosophy.
Still today, we argue back and forth over major and minor ideas, thoughts, philosophical positions, differences, and beliefs. All this, in an effort to be wise, appear wise, or at least more wise than the someone else. Usually, another person with an opposing idea from an opposing tribe or party.
History shows us wars that were waged because of the ill-fated wisdom of dictators. Who, at first, appeared to be wise and so people followed them, often blindly. Only to discover, in the end, they were anything but wise. They were just experts at stirring up emotions, emotions of separation, exclusion, and hatred.
And finally, I think it is safe to say that over the course of the last 12 months as the world was stricken by a pandemic, we are disappointed at the lack of wisdom from a few of our fellow human beings. Whether it is watching a violent assault on our nation’s capital, or the simple act of saying, “You can’t make me wear a mask, I am an American, and I have rights!” Completing ignoring the fact that their unwise behaviors are stomping on the rights of their fellow human beings.
Today, I believe most of us, hope and pray that we find some level of common sense amongst ourselves and the worlds’ leaders, especially those leaders in our nations’ capital.
Wisdom & The Human Race
I could write an entire book on what’s wrong in the world. However, for the purposes of this book, I want to share five thoughts about wisdom to better understand why wisdom is a fundamental component in our evolution as humans. And why, it is a critical factor that impacts your ability to live an extraordinary life.
- The basic definition of wisdom is simply – the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common-sense, and insight.
- The word sapience is derived from the Latin word sapiential which means wisdom.
- Homo is derived from Latin meaning man (as in mankind).
- We define ourselves as homo sapiens.
- We are supposed to be wise – wise men, wise women, wise people.
In other words, the very basis of how we define who we are as human beings is intricately interwoven and inseparable from the belief that we obtain wisdom and act wisely.
And yet …
What happens when you turn on the news or log into Facebook, or any social media site? What you see is manipulation by people with agenda’s and beliefs all claiming they are wise. They couldn’t be any farther from the truth. They all seem to lack wisdom. Why? Because they are driven by a purpose which is diametrically opposed to the ideas of inclusion, common-sense, understanding, knowledge, and insight.
Wisdom: Your Fundamental Responsibility
Of course, it is easy to point fingers at those in power and blame them for the chaos and disruption. I believe that most folks would rather give away that responsibility and simply take a chair and participate in a game of follow the leader. It is easier to blame someone else when things go wrong. Pointing our fingers outward and away from ourselves instead of inward seems to be a basic human foible. It would appear that we humans have an unconscious need to shun responsibility.
That said, as homo sapiens and members of the human race, it is our responsibility to apply wisdom, common sense and understanding to ourselves and each other.
If we stop acquiring wisdom, if we give away our responsibility to act wisely, we give away our right to be human. We basically sell ourselves out!
It is our individual responsibility as human beings to be wise, act wisely, and continuously seek wisdom. We must be even more diligent in these modern times, times ladled with manipulated facts and images from the media. And of course, the ever invasive reach of social media which seeps into every crack and crevice of our daily lives.
3 Questions to Ask Yourself About Wisdom:
- How do you discern what is real and what is not, when it comes to discerning the truth?
- How much of what you believe is simply a regurgitation of what you see on the television or read on social media?
- Do you decide the truth based on your experience or what someone else tells you?
In chaotic times it is even more important that we take sole responsibility for our beliefs, and therefore our actions. It is your responsibility and your right as a member of the human race.
Next week: How honesty forms the core of our ability to think and act wisely.