wisdom of elders

Advanced age does not guarantee advanced wisdom. We all know that true wisdom can come from the mouths of babes, and stupidity can spout forth from many an adult.

Wisdom, unlike knowledge, cannot be attained through study alone. Wisdom is gained from experience. The challenges, struggles and suffering of human existence can`t be avoided. But we can choose how to respond to them. We can dig deep to find the meaning and purpose of the suffering, and thereby grow from it. Or, we can assume a victim mentality full of bitterness, anger and hatred. We can choose to focus on life`s blessings or life`s curses. We can be open to the wisdom of God and those around us, or be so self-absorbed that the only voice we hear is our own.

We all know women and men who exude wisdom in their elder years. They don`t believe they are the keepers of all knowledge, pontificating to any poor soul within their reach. They don`t dole out unwanted advice, insisting that they know best merely by virtue of their age. They know that wisdom is a gift, and gifts are meant to be shared. They speak from an experience of a life fully lived and fully pondered. They teach us, by example, that true wisdom is attained through an open mind and heart that is ever-seeking deeper understanding of the truths of life.

The truly wise never stop listening for Wisdom`s voice, for they know that she can still whisper to them through a young child or float across rustling weeds at the water`s edge on a summer`s afternoon.

2 thoughts on “wisdom of elders

  1. The above is Super Nice! I’ve been struggling all my life— wisdom is my goal. A couple weeks ago, I became wise enough to write in the About section of my WordPress blog: “The meaning of life is probably not for everyone, but for “those who seek,” the journey, I am told, is no less rewarding than the actual destination!”

  2. I very much agree with Isabella, spiritual wisdom is about gleaning out life experience. Wisdom is not about academic education, I have met a lot of educated people I would not call wise. Twelve Step programs call those without formal education who have wisdom, “smart from the heart”. Wisdom is not about practicality and efficiency; it is about how we hold our life experience.

    In my life wisdom is often been about paradox; I look at my life and the things I would never have chosen were my biggest teachers of wisdom. The things in life that I would rather have not ever have happened, where the things that changed and transformed me. I think the question of spiritual wisdom is how do we look at the work and action of God in those things that happen to us that we would never choose? Like our new limitations, or destabilization or disenchantment or anxiety?

    In the psalms it says: “gray on the temples is the beginning of wisdom”, it takes a lifetime to gain the wisdom God intended for each of us.

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