Like many words, it’s thrown around like an old shop rag. We love to talk about it, but we don’t love to put forth the effort it takes to achieve it. If we don’t like someone, then we try to take their wisdom away and dehumanize them. We should stop doing this and realize that wisdom is grey, not black and white. There are levels of wisdom and I truly believe as we grow older, it’s more natural to become wiser. A person may be more wise in various areas, and less wise in others.
Below is a list of what I’ve observed in wise men and women:
- First and foremost, they are patient. They take their time and think through things.
- They have integrity, i.e. they are the same everywhere. There are no masks. They are honest.
- They are compassionate. They love their enemies as they love their friends.
- They aren’t jealous. They understand they own nothing, therefore they don’t desire to.
- They listen and learn. They realize they’ll never have enough knowledge.
- They aim high, but set reasonable expectations. Doing this allows for successful failure.
- They learn from mistakes and see the mistakes as growing opportunities.
- They are impartial when they need to be. They don’t just automatically take sides on issues.
I’m sure there is a list a mile long, but I wanted to list a few traits of wisdom that stand out to me. I struggle with a few of these, but am trying to be the wise man I know I can be, for myself and everyone else, and so that I can make the world a better place.
Wisdom is a progression. I don’t expect people to be wise in their teens or twenties. Some are, but I don’t expect them to be. Time provides more opportunities for wisdom because not only do we have more experiences, there are more lessons.
I believe we have to be deliberate to gain wisdom. I believe we should seek it out and desire it. I love the verse below.
Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: If you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. (Proverbs 24:13-14)
I mean, I am American, and we are addicted to anything sweet, right? Go gain more wisdom today.