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Monday, March 31, 2014

The Wise Amongst Us

Who is the wisest person you have ever known? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1456).

It is certain that I will not come up with any one name.  I have known both personally and known of many public figures I consider wise.  The important point is not to identify a name or two but to identify the criteria that make up wisdom.  Most importantly those with wisdom do not ascribe to relativism when that means a sort of "oh whatever...." mentality.  While they are people of moral conviction and a strong sense of right and wrong....and are in an admirable sense dreamers, they nevertheless are realists and strong pragmatists.   It is difficult to be wise and ethereally divorced from what works on earth.  Those I consider wise are well acquainted with grief and suffering caused by the limited perception of mankind and his tenuous mastery of the good. The wise exhibit a persistent knack for coming to the essence of a conundrum.

Wisdom requires more than stellar accomplishment in a subject or skill. Breadth combined with depth of knowledge brings extensive appreciation of paradoxes knit by human passions--both rational and nonrational--that tends to color justice with mercy.  It appreciates the seasonal nature of human experience while grasping the necessity of bearing fruit out of season.  Despite a certain reticence and humility that can be misconstrued as shyness--even weakness--the wise fasten onto their convictions with a bulldog determination that can catapult them into leadership roles despite their profound distrust of acclaim's blandishments and intoxications.

I feel compelled to mention two wise people that forever impacted my life--my parents.

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