Saturday, December 12, 2015

Reflection on the Spirit of Wisdom

Time spent in reflection is for me a time I give to myself, a gift to ponder those things in my life that I feel in need of contemplation.  Wisdom is one of those qualities that I find hard to define.  I know I love to learn and discover and explore but I feel that wisdom often eludes me.  

The Spirit of Wisdom (chokmah)
•  Ethical wisdom
•  Pragmatic / The ability to choose the best of options
•   Ability to foil the enemies’ schemes.

Do I have ethical wisdom?  I like to think that I ponder my choices based on what is right not on what is easy.  I have a strong moral sense of right and wrong.  My desire to act conscientiously however often gets me in trouble with those who prefer I bend the rules, to say an untruth because that is easier on their ego than the truth I express. 

I have lost because of my need to be honest and not deliberately dissemble just because it would make the other person “feel good”.  And yet I continue to stand my principles because that is who I am.  

Is this what ethical wisdom is?  Accepting that even knowing that it can get me in trouble with others, it is myself and my conscience that I need to live with?

The second statement about pragmatism; am I able to choose the best options?  Often I look back and wonder what would my life have been like if I had chosen a different option?  

Does this mean that at that point in time I lacked the wisdom to make a better choice or was I supposed to make that choice because the experiences I lived through because of that choice were the ones that destiny wanted me to experience and learn from?  

Pragmatic choices are always based upon what we know in the present moment.  There is no going back in life and there are no do overs. There is learning and using that knowledge for the next choice.   But always we are left making choices based on knowledge that is incomplete for we never stop learning. 

To foil and enemies schemes!  Wow.  What a premise.  This requires great knowledge of people and the way they think and act and respond.  I think I had none of this wisdom for most of my life.  I spent most of my life believing, really believing, that if I treated others well they would treat me well in return.  

Some of my greatest disappointments have been because of this “trustingness” that I had in people, and in the premise that basically all people are good.  I have learned the hard way that is not so.  There are many bad characters out there and many of them are hidden behind “masks of pretend goodness”, they smile as they stab you in the back, they are the proverbial “wolves in sheep's clothing”. 

Which brings me full circle to the concept of ethical wisdom; doing right is not necessarily going to get you done right by others. 

Wisdom requires knowledge not only of self and my own morality, but also to know the character of others and the disturbing character patterns or lack of character that allows them to employ shading dealings without regard for the feelings of others.

Wisdom requires building boundaries and emotional resources to face such characters and not be hurt or destroyed by them. If learning is a step in that direction then is it possible to gain enough experience and knowledge to foil their schemes? Well I can certainly try!

Renate Dundys Marrello 
2015 - 12 - 12 

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