Introduction to Wisdom

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The Sufi poet Hafiz wrote:

The Beloved sometimes wants

To do us a great favor:

Hold us upside down

And shake all the nonsense out.

Perhaps wisdom is what is left when the “nonsense” is gone, leaving the deeper knowing of our life – who we are and what we value. That knowledge might have arisen through intensive study or accumulated through the challenges of daily living or come as insight in the midst of a moment. Wisdom arrives through the living of our life, a distillation of understanding that is refined by our experiences.

The getting of wisdom depends on both action and reflection – the experiments and challenges of life in which we participate, followed by reflecting on our actions – what we did, how it felt, the consequences – that we might learn our own wisdom.

As Krista Tippett, host of On Being says “to me wisdom is – it’s hard to define, but one of its qualities – that it is about joining inner life with our outer presence in the world. The litmus test of wisdom is the imprint it makes on the world around it, the imprint a wise life makes on the world around it. And that’s a step beyond other qualities we admire.”

This month I invite all of you to reflect on the wisdom gained over your years of living. What wise words do you have for yourself, and to share with your family and your community?




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