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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Even if this means not being totally honest.

  • The wise are realistic about other people too.

  • 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.

  • They don't lead to the worst conclusions about what's going on in the minds of others.

  • The wise appreciate the pression people are under

  • 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.

Wisdom is one of the grandest and oddest words out there,

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B1 wise wisdom realistic folly irrational panic


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    Ben posted on 2017/05/27
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