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Jan 21, 2013

What is Wisdom?

"The more I live, the more I learn.
The more I learn, the more I realize
The less I know."

I assumed that as I aged, I would gain more understanding.  That somehow my experiences and education would gradually amass to provide me with a certain amount of enlightenment.  Not that I would become brilliant or something.  But I was holding out for wiser. 

However, it seems a world that I assumed would become more black and white as I accumulated years is just getting grayer. 

For instance, the more I learn, the less I understand people and their actions, including my own sometimes.  But at the same time I seem to give them more room for error now.  I don't judge them as often or as harshly as I used to, which I think is good.  Where I seem to be losing insight as to why people do the things they do, I'm gaining appreciation for the fact that I don't know what that person's world is like, where they come from, what they have endured or survived or witnessed. Not that that excuses certain behaviors.  But it does help me assimilate information, which gives me some sense of comfort in these very uncomfortable times. 

There are a few things I feel more certain of now than in my younger days.  My faith is one of them.  But just as with everything else, while my conviction of God's love solidifies in my soul, my mind is less able to explain why.  Maybe it's because the vastness of God and the infinity of his love and his peace are unexplainable, especially to those who haven't felt it.  Now that I'm older, I accept the fact that I will never be able to comprehend it all.  I've done my doubting and studying and questioning and learning and searching, and have arrived at a place where the answers I have found are steadfast enough for my mind to justify accepting the truths I cannot grasp. 

Business, hardships, religion, disappointments, love, war, technology, politics, death, life...I don't intellectually understand much more than I did ten years ago.  But I do feel like I've grown.  Matured.  Where I've accepted my mind's limitations, I've made up for by expanding my...what...spirituality?  humanity?  maybe both. 

Maybe that's what wisdom is.  Maybe it's not merely the edification of one's intellect, but also the illumination of one's soul.

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