The 365 Commitment

What is Wisdom?

I think it is rather fun to ponder and reinvent what you really believe the definitions of words are. Take wisdom for example. I have had various definitions for this word growing up. At times it meant “something you hear from an old person.” Sometimes it meant how smart you were, or how good you were at making decisions. For a while, I thought it was more about what you had been taught by practical experience rather then book knowledge. Wisdom to me was something that really showed your worth, where as intelligence was something that was rather fleeting.

My definition for wisdom has completely changed, however. I think it is because, I actually now possess a little. Earlier in life, when I did not have any wisdom at all, it was funny to consider the fact that I was trying to define a word that I knew nothing about. So what does wisdom really mean, from someone who actually figured out how to accumulate a little? Wisdom is all about control. Specifically, what you control.

To put the concept simply. A wise person will only spend their time on what they can actually control, and ignore the things that are out of their control. Think about this, how many people in youthful ignorance will take on challenges and problems far about their capability and capacity to influence? The 17 year old revolutionary anarchist trying to topple the government from the comfortable warmth of his mother’s basement and sending messages out on social media using the phone that is still on his father’s “family plan” service.

When you are unwise, you waste effort on meaningless, ridiculous notions that will net you nothing in return. A wise person understands this, can identify and pinpoint distractions with accuracy and choose, in advance, of the best place to spend one’s time. Wise people do not waste time. You may say that a wise person actually grows apathetic and unwilling to try new things. This may be true and perhaps a consequence of having the door slammed in their face one too many times too often. However, a truly wise person would not waste time pondering such a question, because it is worthless to do so. Wisdom is probably the ultimate manifestation of practicality.

So be wise. Be practical. Focus on what you can control and not what is completely out of your grasp to accomplish.

Guy Reams

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