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Wisdom

Tuesday 1/19/21

A quote I encountered today on a profile: "I can almost guarantee I'm smarter than you and I have the degrees to prove it."


Charlie Brown would sigh at this juncture.


If ever a person set out to make one point and ended up making the exact opposite of the point they had in mind.


What I also know about this person--I need not check--is what they rail about on social media all day, the money they come from, the absence of people of color in their lives, the screeds about BLM and how they are all but a god of morality, passionate "causes" that did not exist for them two years ago, the expected filters, memes, hashtags, 5400 posts about Trump, and so forth. They will be sheltered. They will be unwise. That's a key concept, wisdom. I'm not sure that there is a rarer quality in this world right now than true wisdom, and there is no wisdom, so far as I believe, in any work of any writer in the world right now. It's different than even intelligence. In some ways, wisdom is quite unlike intelligence, though one can't be wise without it.


Wisdom is the view from the ledge above, the understanding of everything that goes on below, and why, the motivations, and the knowledge of human nature, stripped up of emotion, but with leanings befitting one who possesses a soft and kind heart, an inclination to gentleness for human folk, in all of their failings, in the dominant nature of their failings, even as wisdom opens up a vein of truth, like nothing else does, and lets it flow.


Wisdom is facilitated by certain works of art. I think that Meatheads facilitates wisdom, and Longer on the Inside, and There Is No Doubt. But wisdom starts as a seed, and it opens, flowers over the course of life, imagination, experience, but only when anger, frustration, the hardened heart, do not impinge upon, nay, even touch, any single part of it.


Wisdom is of the mind, it is of the soul, and it is of the character. One cannot be false when one is wise. One cannot be base. One need be truly good, and in such a way that nothing can part that person from their foundational goodness., no matter how much pain, injustice, aloneness, or sadness, they behold, or they experience. They will match pain and sadness with more wisdom yet, a higher level of wisdom, and that wisdom will be evinced in everything they do, because it is everything they are, and what all humans should aspire to. There is no heat in wisdom. It is the soft wind, the reminder wind, the wind that cools heads, and, when there can be no cooling, or there is no cooling, or one is scorned and hated for the supplying of this wisdom, it simply comes again through the trees, like breath from someone who gives it, and would give their very last, for us to be well, and to do better.


That is wisdom. Speak not to me of degrees. Speak not to me of unearned rewards and cronyism and the race card and identity politics and classism. Show me your wisdom. No--you need not even make a presentation of it. I will know it as I see it, because that is the nature of wisdom.