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I wrote a post early in the week and I’ve been meaning to post again. Really I have. I’ve drafted posts and discarded them.

Okay, actually I’ve drafted and redrated the same post. Why so many attempts and no post? Because I’m still trying to process something.

Simply put, someone did something hurtful. Not to me. They went after a friend and the really horrifying thing was that they did it with full knowledge of what they were doing.

As a writer, I often process my feelings by writing. But these are also the writings that aren’t always fit to share. It isn’t that they are too raw or too personal although they may be that too. They are just too “ranty” a lot like the event that started the whole thing.

Sure, Lori, Ruth and I write about serious topics. But we try to do it in a positive way. We write about things that make us mad but we try to end with a note of hope or humor or both. And I wasn’t achieving that so I didn’t post.

Just as I was patting myself on the back this morning for showing so much wisdom, another realization came to me. Writing or speaking. Maybe just maybe I’d be just as wise to occasionally close my mouth and wait until I can be a bit more positive and hopeful.

I was wise enough not to post. Now if I could just by wise enough not to strike back verbally. Two rants do not make a right.

–SueBE

 

Wisdom is a hard-won commodity.  I’m saying that as a parent.

In high school, my son knew, absolutely knew, what he was going to do for college.  We tried to warn him.  “You need a second choice.  You need plans in case those don’t work out.”

What could we possibly know?  This is a new age!  A new world.  There is little or no resemblance to the dinosaur planet where his father and I spent our teen years.

Then Choice #1 fell through.  He was fairly unpleasant to be around even as we stifled the urge to point out that we had, in fact been right,  But he came up with a plan and it has worked out really well.

The other day, a friend asked what he was up doing and I filled her in.  Another friend, whose daughter is 3 years older than my son, started asking questions.  “He’s going to do X, more or less.”  “More or less?”  “I don’t know the details.  He’s taking care of it.”  “Do you really think that’s a good idea?  You need to –”

Not my circus.

That’s the hard-won wisdom of a college Mom.  He didn’t want to hear it in high school.  He sure doesn’t want to hear it now.  And really?  He needs to figure it out.  Adulting is tough, but he’s doing a really good job.  In another year, he’ll have an associate degree and money in the bank. He will owe absolutely nothing.  And he has a plan.

What if it doesn’t work out?  He’ll figure out another plan.  He managed to do it before in spite of our attempts to interfere.

Besides, I’m not the mom of a little kid.  I’m the mom of a college student.  When the laundry arrives, I wash it.  I make sure there’s coffee and food – enough for him and his buddies.  Because they’ve started showing up on weekends.  Adulting is tough so we’ll be cheering them on even as we make sure they get a square meal.

–SueBE

 

I have to admit that I laughed when I read Miss Ruth’s post on whether or not we see each other around our own world view. I do not change directions easily.  I don’t think I’m narrow-minded but my brain seems to hard wire things.  This is X.  That is Y.  When I find out that I had it backward, it takes me a few minutes to reorient my brain.

Yesterday our Bible class was discussing Jonah.  Pastor Sean pointed out how important it is for us to understand that the Israelites saw the sea, any sea, as chaos.  The giant fish?  A beast of chaos.

As much as I loathe water and swimming, I would have remembered this if I had ever heard it before. It so fits my world view!

But my grandad grew up on Biloxi Bay.  He was a bay life guard and swam in the ocean, the ocean that scared me silly.

My great uncles on the other side were river fishermen.  My grandmother and aunt pointed out that out often.  “Fishermen, Susie.  Just like the apostles.”  For my family, the fact that they were fishermen made them, and faith, that much more accessible.

Chaos?  Really?

The problem with this mental reversal was that I was teaching the class.  Not the best time to sit there and reorient your world view.  Fortunately, most of them have known me since I was 12.  Chaos.  I had it backwards?  One tiny step forward but still not wise.

–SueBE

One of my favorite scriptures.  Although I find Proverbs difficult to sit down and read (where is the narrative arc?), there are so many words of wisdom in that particular book.

–SueBE

 

Knowledge and wisdom.  They aren’t quite the same thing although I was probably a teen when I figured this out.

That was when my friends and I started playing role playing games. We’d have to create a character to use in a series of adventures.  We had to note how high, or low, our character was in a variety of traits including both intelligence/knowledge and wisdom.

It was the first time in my life that I realized that you could have one without the other.  As an adult, I realized that this wasn’t just true of games but life as well. When I worked in an academic department at the university, there was no doubt that the professors I worked with were all very intelligent. They’d earned PhDs in a wide variety of topics and published papers and books.  These people were smart.

But wisdom?  That wasn’t something all of them could claim. This was obvious as I one professor drug me down the hall to count the floor tiles in another professor’s office.  Who had the most space?  A wise person would not there were differences and let it roll.  A smart person?  Maybe yes, maybe no.  They also had to be wise.

One professor in particular was both.  He had degrees in divinity and anthropology.  He had been a minister with his own church.  He had also worked with Vietnamese Buddhist refugees in Hawaii and Texas as well as Buddhists in Thailand.  He was a man who could note the facts, get down to what mattered and let the rest go.

Intelligence and wisdom.  They are both gifts from God.

–SueBE

 

A little piece of advice…

If you’ve been reading the meme’s that I’ve posted throughout the week, you’ve seen that quite a few of them have to do with patience.  When I first saw these Lenten quotes about patience I was a bit . . . what?  What does patience have to do with Lent?

The more I think about it, the more that I realize that patience is a huge part of Lent.

Lent is all about awaiting the coming dawn.  Waiting, to put it simply, is not my strong suit.  I want it now.  No really.  NOW would be better than later.

But that isn’t always the case.  Waiting and patience give us time for preparation.  Preparation can make the difference between success and a failure.  I know this, but I’m still not very good at waiting.

Lent is also a time of turning into the light.  It is a time for us to remove what stands between us and God’s light.  It is a time of helping us remove what keeps other people from seeing God’s light in us.

Quite often that requires patience.  Patience to take care of what ever it is in us that keeps us from being Christ’s hands on earth.  Patience to listen to what the other person has to say, because until we know what is in their hears and their minds, we very often have no clue what they need.

Patience.  It is a key part of empathy.

Patience.  It is most truly something that I need today.

–SueBE

 

In advertising, it’s always important to remember the law of supply and demand.  In religion, truth is the product, and supplies are, apparently, unlimited.

There are so many different brands of “the truth” that anyone seeking wisdom would be hard-pressed to separate the wheat from the chaff.  If there was a Library of Great Wisdom, what books would be housed there?

Since I don’t belong to a specific religion, I think I’m exempt from being sacrilegious, so forgive me my brash theories:  maybe it’s possible that great wisdom was parsed out in parcels to every major religious leader, and that each “holy book” has at least modest amounts of spiritual nutrients designed to feed the starving soul.

But aren’t there also passages in holy books that incite violence or foment unrest?

In New York City right now, Representative Peter King has convened a McCarthy Hearing of sorts, ostensibly to root out Muslim extremism; actually, it’s an un-American indictment of everyone practicing Islam.  Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison, a Muslim, was called to testify – in a way, to justify his own beliefs.  Bill Maher interviewed Ellison later, and Maher said that he feels that the Koran is a hate-filled holy book.

Most of the value of holy books comes from the importance we ascribe to them, and if we’re so inclined to receive a good word, we can find encouragement from any holy book.  By the same token, if you are inclined to believe in vengeance and destruction, you will also find what you’re looking for in almost any holy book.  It’s not so much that the words are taken out of context, but that they resonate differently, since all of life leads toward death in the mind of an extremist.

I’m not sure there is one holy book that contains all of the secrets of life, so I say, take what you can from all of the great writings and discard the rest.  Find truth along the path of life, and allow for the fact that other people have their own opinions.  In this Library of Great Wisdom, all are welcome, and no one is ever turned away.

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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