“Only the wise person draws from life, and from every stage of it, its true savour, because only he or she feels the beauty, the dignity, and the value of life. The flowers of youth may fade, but the summer, the autumn, and even the winter of human existence, have their majestic grandeur, which the wise person recognizes and glorifies.” – Henri Frederic Amiel
Give me wisdom over knowledge any day! Give me the ability to appreciate this world we’re in, to understand my fellow human beings and be able to help them in concrete ways, to be able to give and receive and live and love. I know plenty of people who are incredibly book smart, but who don’t feel life because they’re always too busy analyzing it and trying to find purposes and reasons. This kind of approach is important to us as a species, but in balance with other approaches, with other views.
If I’m wise, I won’t worry about growing old, for I know that there’s a time for everything. I won’t worry about whether someone likes me or not, for I know that all things can’t be. I won’t worry about the things that I don’t have, for not having them diminishes me not one bit. I won’t worry about the future and regret the past, for I know that only the present moment truly matters, for it’s all that we can live.
If I’m wise, I will keep my eyes open and notice things that other people pass by or dismiss as trivial. I will stop and smell the flowers and marvel at the snow and ice. I will give of myself as much as I can, knowing that in giving comes our true growth. I will be grateful for each new day of life that I receive, for I know that each day is a gift, and it’s up to me to make something of that gift.
I would truly regret going through life without seeing “the beauty, the dignity, and the value of life.” It would be like paying for a first-class ticket on a long flight and spending the entire trip standing in the aisle in coach. Let me be wise! Let me see, and feel, and love. Knowledge helps me in my job and in conversations with others, but wisdom helps me to live!
Questions to consider:
1. What do you see as the difference between knowledge and wisdom?
2. How does wisdom grow in us? Does it just happen, or do we have to work at it?
3. Who is the wisest person you know? Why is that person wise?
For further thought:
“You must learn day by day, year by year, to broaden your horizon. The more things you love, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you are indignant about–the more you have left when anything happens.” – Ethel Barrymore