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The wisdom maturity brings

I am amused and depressed by the way age does not seem to bring wisdom. And yet, to some extent, I think I have learned a few things in the last ten years or so that, were I to remember them, would enable me to respond to people (the great mystery of life that they are) in a way that would make me feel ... mature. Like I'd learned something.

What are these precious nuggets I have mined?
1. People don't bitch about stuff because they want to see it fixed. Mostly, they just like the sound of their voice, and sympathy is the right response. This is hard to handle given that I'm a "fixer."
2. Ignoring what people say about each other is almost always the right response, especially if what you're hearing is negative. The corollaries to this are:
a. Judge people by what you see of them yourself, that is, by their actions.
b. It is okay to tell people you disagree with their opinions on other people, but doing so 1) could set yourself up for an attack and 2) isn't going to accomplish much. (I, however, have not a lot of restraint in this area due to my strong loyalty to my friends ... which can make things extra exciting in all sorts of bad ways. This is probably a sign the wisdom thing is still developing, or that my mitochondrians are low.)


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 26th, 2005 08:34 pm (UTC)
Age != Wisdom??
That is very very incorrect. Age IS Wisdom, but certain people hold more wisdom than others. I do feel that some people CAN make their wisdom decrease with age if they choose to follow the wrong paths in life, but even then, as they lose wisdom about certain things, they gain wisdom about others. Never in life do I feel that a single person does not gain wisdom as they age.
Mar. 1st, 2005 05:10 pm (UTC)
Re: Age != Wisdom??
I would disagree. Age does not equal wisdom.

  • you are gaining knowledge about life with age and
  • that knowledge is correct and
  • you apply that knowledge to your life's actions and
  • you internalize that process
Then age brings wisdom.

Also, it is:
  • easy to not pay enough attention to gain knowledge from every event in your life...
  • easy get false perceptions about the way people and the world work...
  • hard to make sure you always your use your knowledge and apply it to your actions...
  • very easy to go with the flow or let your immediate desires take control...
  • a bitch to maintain that level of introspection and evaluation at all times...
Mar. 1st, 2005 09:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Age != Wisdom??
(fuck proof reading this, its too long and I don't have enough time...:-P)

you are gaining knowledge about life with age: Not a single soul that has ever lived on this planet has ever gone even a second without learning SOMETHING. That's impossible, unless your in a coma I guess. Most people don't notice, but you DO learn, even if your just walking down the street to go to a store. You'll learn about whatever it is that your looking at, perhaps how busy it is, if its cloudy, where a store is that you didn't know was there, a crack on the sidewalk you never noticed, etc. Regardless of how small it is, your gaining knowledge with age.

that knowledge is correct:
If you learn something about a given subject and that information is incorrect, your still learning something. What does it matter if you learn something that is correct? Its true that if the information isn't correct, your not getting necessarily wiser about it, however, if you learn that the information wasn't correct, your learning that the source you heard it from is either a misinformed source or stupid and that gives you knowledge about the source and thus, wisdom.

you apply that knowledge to your life's actions:
You don't have to apply knowledge to anything to still know if its right or wrong. I know its right to open a door for a woman (its courteous), but that doesn't mean I do it (I try, but generally don't). I'm still wise in knowing that its courteous to open the door. Nothing needs to be applied to be learned and wisdom gained.

you internalize that process:
Internalize? Not too sure what you mean, but from the sounds of it, it sounds like something along the lines of applying the knowledge to your lifes actions and likely, then making it a part of yourself. If so, see my previous answer. You can still be wise and know what's best without it being a part of who you are.

Also, it is:
easy to not pay enough attention to gain knowledge from every event in your life:
Even if a person isn't paying attention, they are learning. Its physically impossible (unless your in a coma), at least in my opinion. If your not paying attention, your likely daydreaming about something and your learning whatever it is in your daydream your dreaming about, regardless weather or not the information in that daydream is accurate. Your still at least learning that you daydream and what you daydream about.
Mar. 1st, 2005 09:01 pm (UTC)
Re: Age != Wisdom??

easy get false perceptions about the way people and the world work:
If you get a false perception, then that would turn into your own feelings of what "wisdom" is. Everyone is wise in their own way, there is no true book on what wisdom is defined to be. You don't have to feel that it is wise to ride your bike in the daytime because at night you could be hit by a car. You may feel otherwise. It may be wise to ride your bike at night because you choose to be unseen. To me, wisdom is getting those false perceptions, remembering that I had them and at a later time, if I learn the truth, I adjust. I wouldn't say many people don't do this, unless they are convinced that their original idea is the true one.

hard to make sure you always your use your knowledge and apply it to your actions:
Everyone always uses their knowledge and applies it to their actions. If you open a door, how do you know how to do that? What about blinking? You don't ever think about how to open a door, but you still do it everytime. You don't forget, however you still have to think about how to do it everytime you open a door, regarless of weather or not you notice that your having to use the knowledge to open it. Whatever action you do, it requires knowledge to do it. You may not know the outcome, but you know how to do whatever it is your doing.

very easy to go with the flow or let your immediate desires take control:
Going with the flow and letting desires take control isn't wisdom at all. Its desire, its lust, its emotion. Emotions generally work against wisdom. If you don't think before you act, your going to have to rely a lot more on luck than you would if you did think before you act.

a bitch to maintain that level of introspection and evaluation at all times:
I do it 24-7, even when I'm really really really drunk. Its who I am deep down. Even if you don't, doesn't mean your not still learning and thus, gaining wisdom about SOMETHING in life.

I'm not sure if you understand my perspective. I'm very analytical and perfectionistic. I feel that even if your always learning and by learning, your getting wiser. Most people just never notice. It doesn't matter if your getting wiser over the particular subject that is being addressed, you might not be, but you ARE getting wiser about other things in life, even stupid little minute ones that you don't notice.

I guess this is my point. A person overall can get less wise, however, certain things they WILL get wiser on. If they have say 1000 things that they can get wise about in life, they could get less wise about 999 of those things because people might tell them the wrong info, they might go insane, etc. But 1 of those things they are getting wiser on. This is inevitable in my opinion.

Wisdom, in essense, is currect knowledge about things. The more knowledge you have about that subject, the wiser you become. So even if you learn incorrect knowledge about something, at the same time your gaining correct knowledge about something else. There is always more than 1 thing going on in life around you that you DO take in and learn about, even if your not paying close attention to it.
Mar. 1st, 2005 04:44 pm (UTC)
Age only brings wisdom when the knowledge gained with age alters behavior.

Wisdom is knowledge which specifically alters behavior. It is best gained by actively applying the knowledge you've gained to the actions of your life. If you aren't applying the knowledge you've gained you aren't being wise.

While I agree in general with your tidbits above I would add another corollary...

#2 corollary c:
If what you are hearing about someone is negative, don't allow it to make you interact negatively to the person, but do use it to make sure you don't open yourself needlessly for exploitation.

For example:
If you hear that someone steals things from other peoples houses it would be just plain stupid to invite them over and leave them unattended in your home. However, being that you don't know if it is true or not you can still do other things with them that do not open you to attack. For example go out to a cafe together, etc.
This is a good course of action until you are sure that what you've heard is misinformation.

Mar. 1st, 2005 09:12 pm (UTC)
I'll definatly agree with your collorary. However, if you knew it wouldn't be wise to invite that person to your house but you still did, how does that make you less wise about inviting them over? You can be wise and know its best to not invite them over, but you also might desire something more, like perhaps getting laid by them for example. Your still wise in knowing its best not to invite them over, but you just don't care.

Its wise to not do something bad, but the people who do bad things aren't unwise, they know perfectly well that its a bad idea, they just don't care.

That doesn't make them any less wise. It DOES make them more careless.

Additionally, to comment to your first paragraph, I don't apply a lot of things that I'm wise about to my life. For example. When driving in the Daytona 500, its unwise to be drunk. However, that applies to driving down any street in any car as well. How about when pulling over a vehicle on a highway (as a cop), it is wise to park your car sticking out into the road farther than the car you pulled over to create a barrier for oncoming cars so that if a car drives to close to the side, they will hit the police car instead of the policeman. I'm not a cop, I don't apply that in my life and I never will, but I still know its wise to do that.
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