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What Is Wisdom?

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What is Wisdom?

Webster's New World Dictionary defines the word wisdom as "the quality of being wise; power of judging rightly and following the soundest course of action, based on knowledge, experience, understanding, etc.; good judgment; sagacity (penetrating intelligence and sound judgment)." In this paper, I will present my interpretation of one instance of how wisdom is obtained and hopefully passed on.

I perceive wisdom as the ability to make the best decision or select the best course of action according to the current situation with respect to prior similar situations and their outcomes. Wisdom is what I like to call acquired knowledge over time and experience. Wisdom is often associated with a formal education. On the other hand, you may not be formally educated, but still considered wise. As wisdom is acquired, situations are looked at in a different light. Let's use children as an example.

As babies and small children, we view our parents as role models. We emulate them as we get older. When most children reach adolescence, they think they are grown, know everything, and their parents don't know anything. They can't wait to get out on their own so they don't have to follow any of those constricting rules placed upon them by their parents while they live under their parent's roof. For the children that venture out on their own and either without their parent's help or with just enough help to get set up, reality hits rather quickly. Out on their own, children start to see just how much it really costs to live when they have to start paying for everything! That is a hard reality check in itself.

Now let us look at the work environment the now grown children have to cope with. Trying to maintain a comparable standard of living to which they were accustomed under the roof of their parent's house is harder than they had imagined. For someone just starting down the road to independence alone, or with peer help, it is a long and tough journey towards that comfortable utopia that was taken for granted while residing with their parents. Once the realization hits that they will be paying all the bills, there will be at least two more mind-boggling realizations. The first would be how much unforeseen money is spent on everyday living to include the basic utility bills like water, electricity, trash and sewer, and maybe gas. This will bring to life their parents constant complaining about running water down the drain, leaving the refrigerator door open, and many other wasteful habits kids had growing up. All of a sudden they realize how much money was thrown away just from the food they'd left on their plates. Now name brand foods are considered a luxury. The second would be the sacrifices they would have to make to be sure that there will be enough money to get to the end of the month. They might have to put up with a job they don't like or long hours to make enough money to pay the bills. The thought that they can't quit a job because of inconvenient hours is just another taste of reality. A second job might be necessary to help make ends meet. Just think, the thought of a summer vacation is completely out, as well as



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