Wisdom Simplicity

I was recently asked, “What is wisdom?” That is one of those questions that stops me in my tracks. What a simple, yet complex answer. Because of my preference to err on the side of simplicity, I thought the answer to the question might certainly reside in simplicity. After all, as my friend Dorothy always says, “Simple is profound.”

Before we define wisdom, let’s first look at what it is not. Wisdom is not knowledge. Wisdom is not education. Wisdom is not experience.

Wisdom is circular. We receive it, put it out there, live it, and receive it again. Wisdom is not an achievement where we check the box and move on; it is not an arrival. We taste it and we know of it as we travel on the journey. Wisdom is definitely a process, and not one that is ever truly finished. In actuality, the more we learn, the more we learn that which we do not know. Socrates knew this when he said, “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” Enter—wisdom.

The simplicity in understanding wisdom, is that it is a combination of all three activities: knowledge, experience, and learning from those experiences. Wisdom, simply stated, is the combination of knowledge and experience.

We also know that our experiences go through the perceptual process. Wisdom brings those two aspects together and makes sense of the stimuli that we experience. While wisdom brings together two forms of external learning—knowledge and experience—it is a deeply internal process. Because it is so internal, reflective time is absolutely necessary in understanding and growing in wisdom.

Today, reflect on a recent experience in stillness. Begin with the process in your heard and slowly move the thought energy to your heart. Then listen with the profoundness and simplicity of wisdom.

With love,