Does anyone out there remember being a child and sitting at the foot of someone you thought was really wise? You listened to them tell you a story and your eyes were just wide open with wonder. I hope you have a memory like that. For me, it’s the embodiment of my first encounter with wisdom. That feeling of being awe-struck by someone older and more experienced in the world around us. Probably it would have been someone you knew well and were very comfortable with. And it wasn’t just the big eyes, but the full head tilt upward. Because, childhood.. and I’ve never been very tall. That whole “whoa” experience.
Anyway, I wish I could take those type of feelings and humanize them. In a sense, what if we could take the undergird of THAT story, THAT lesson, that whatever you remembered and make it a person? The famous line by E.O. Wilson has recently surfaced on a lot of memes. You may have seen it. “We are drowning in information while starving for wisdom.” I think I’ve posted it a time or two myself. I don’t think this has ever been more true. Not that information isn’t necessary. But wisdom – come on! Wisdom is what holds together the threads of the universe. Am I right? Would you rather be book smart or wise?
So, if wisdom could talk to all of us at this very pivotal point in current history – I think it would have some advice for all of us. Maybe something along the following lines.
- Take care of you. – We have got to take better care of ourselves. This applies to our health, our stress management, our sleep patterns, our happiness, etc.. Take care of you. If you are not actively working towards self-improvement, how on earth will you ever help anyone else? And isn’t that the root of all that is good in this world? Helping others? That value in feeling valued. I just blogged about this, ladies and gentleman. See the Pedagogy post. If you find yourself doing something for the greater good, you will find your soul shining a little brighter. I don’t know if I believe all the hocus pocus about auras – but it’s not too hard to tell a person that really feels alive by the look in their eyes versus one who does not.
- Reflect – often and on various things. I think our greatest teachers are the experiences we’ve been through ourselves. This great big world around us is trying every day to keep spinning and teaching us as we go. Reflecting upon what we’ve been through makes us more human in reacting to the goods and the bads around us. There are a lot of needs out there right now. What piece of your life can you apply to someone else’s situation so that they may be better for it?
- Be an observer – I come from a long line of chatty family members. I mean that in a very loving way. And there’s nothing wrong with being a social butterfly. It was just never quite my cup of tea. Quite the opposite, I’ve always been the observing type. You’ve got to quiet your mind sometimes long enough to ask the right questions. Some days that is terribly hard to do. I get it. My kids are 5 and 9. My classroom at any given moment embodies 25 6 year olds. Ya can’t always just be an observer. But, when you can… If only for a moment, even in the craziest of settings, you start to notice significantly beautiful things in the ordinary.
- Find your niche. There are things out there that bring out the spark in all of us. Thankfully those things are different for everyone. All the more reason to celebrate the vast diversity of the world. But it’s so super important to find the things that make you feel like YOU. For me, I like writing and good quotes, more so than I even like good books. I would rather write the story myself. I like war history and heroic tales about everyday people. I love a dry sense of humor and cooking fancy meals from scratch. It’s what makes me, ME. This is what grounds me. I’m not embarrassed to celebrate those things or share them with all of you.
- Be on the lookout always for “that thing”. We are all put on this planet with very unique gifts and purposes. Continue to be happy, healthy, loving, and reflective. But don’t be so blind to believe that there isn’t a specific thing waiting for you. I’m a full believer that God has put us here to DO things. Be an observer in the moment, but keep an eye on the horizon, too. One of these days, you’re going to look up and the answer to “why am I here?” is going to be right in front of you.
By the way, I am in no way a professional on this topic. I have no formal training in psychology or worldly stuffs. I just have lots of thoughts. I think God has a sense of humor, because I’ve been this way for a very long time. Maybe all of this is just my dreamer side talking. But, I’m keeping one eye on the horizon, just in case.