wisdom - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
They say we exchange beauty for wisdom as we age, and so perhaps that is a root cause of societal narcism - in a philosophically-poor culture we lack what we need to gain wisdom and so cling to the ephemeral.
When words and thoughts are good anchors or control; when role models can become cages or keys; the wise support with wisdom and the foolish man becomes a king.
Grandpa would remind me how little I can see with my eyes, how much I can see with my heart. He would say that all the eyes call tell you is a result of what happened, never the reason, the intention, the deep emotions that swim below. "It is only with the heart," he said, "that we can see pain, see the sadness that dwells beneath anger." Perhaps when the heart is our eyes, our eyes show love, and we feel connected within, healed, able to walk with compassion.
Just as intelligence and complexity are different, so are wisdom and kindness. It is wise to be kind, but not to give so much kindness to those that cause hurt and pain as to let them create new victims with trauma. The kindness must be balanced. It is both kind and wise to have the forethought to protect those who have done no wrong, and thus the kindness to the perpetrators of violence must be tempered. They should receive care as good as the society can best afford, but not the freedom to hurt again. Should they be proven cured then the balance shifts and kindness would lead the society to welcome them back. None of this invokes the idea of forgiveness, to this equation it is irrelevant. We can forgive and still require protection, and to provide such protection is wise.
I am wise to be lead by love, but foolish if I trust one who has already shown themselves untrustworthy. Should a "second chance" be granted I must remember that the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour, and have a back up plan for their failure. Those vulnerable to the dark side I forgive without their ever asking, even if they have no need for my grace, but my guard stays up from that point onwards. I must love myself enough to afford self-protection and know the difference between being kind and naive.
Our government’s job isn’t to keep election promises, it is to bow to the “money” and keep us working, paying tax. It’s a mistake to elect representatives and sit back while they “get on with it.” They’re corrupted before the ballots are cast. They’re too bamboozled with lobbyists and dazzled by greed to see daylight let alone the “big picture.” The world will burn before they make any difference at all. I read a good quote recently, “In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.” And even better, from the First Nations, “All Life is sacred. We come into Life as sacred beings. When we abuse the sacredness of Life we affect all Creation.” I gotta admit, when I read that one I felt like a teenager who’s hit twenty one and sees their parents in a whole new light. I could hear my “inner derp” saying, “When did they get so smart?” The truth is, the First Nations were the smart ones all along, it’s us that’s catching up to them, waking up. I can only hope it’s not too little too late.
Found in Are you awake yet? - first draft, authored by .
Grandmother tipped back her silver head and roared with laughter. Eric looked at her with surprise, the advert wasn't even funny. "Gran, what on earth are you laughing about now?" She turned her wizened head, and smiled.
"Oh, well, it was ridiculous! Did you see how 'happy' they all were?" Eric wasn't sure where the old girl was going with this one. Wasn't everyone happy in the adverts? No-one's going to buy a car if everyone looks like they just lost a pound and found a penny.
"Yeah, Gran, but you laughed like it was the best joke you ever heard! You're even crying!"
"Eric, tell me about a time you felt happy."
"When Terry came over for a playdate last week and we ate pizza, that was awesome." Gran nodded. Now how about when you opened your Christmas gifts. Compare them. Were you happy then?" Eric sighed, she was getting battier by the minute.
"'Course I was happy, it was Christmas wasn't it!"
"Think back to that moment when you looked at your pile of gifts and over at your sisters. In that moment was it the same kind of feeling you had when Terry came to play?" Eric frowned. He'd felt a little put out at the time, he'd thought Samantha had gotten the better deal. Come to think of it, didn't she always? Probably Mom had spent more money on her, that was probably why. But it wasn't good manners to whine, maybe then he'd get less next year.
"OK, Gran, there is a difference, but I like Christmas and I like presents, what's your point?" Gran sighed, perhaps Eric wasn't in the right mood for this lesson. But she'd tell him anyway.
"Eric, you bold, beautiful, wonderful boy. Good things feel good. When it doesn't feel good, there's something wrong. I don't know what you were feeling at Christmas, only you do. But bad feelings come from envy, jealousy, greed, emotions like that. We all have them, and they're useful. They let us know when we're on the wrong track." Eric smiled though his mind was already on his computer game, he had zombies to kill...
For Carrie happiness is simple. It's hugs with her mama and playing "let's pretend," it's an uplifting story at bedtime and the knowledge that me and her mom have life all taken care of. Food is always available, she has a comfortable bed. She has friends to play with. We walk in the woods and splash in the stream. She doesn't care what the time is unless she's hungry. Sure she throws a fit when her brain can't understand her world, I'm sure I still do that too. Sometimes she screws her face up and stomps her feet, goes red in the face and waves her hands, but then my tantrums don't look pretty either - not that she ever sees them. I want to learn from her how to be happy again, I want to see the world through her eyes. If you showed her a gold coin or a kitten and asked her to pick one, she'd take the silly cat every time. There's a simple wisdom there and I love it.
Current wisdom says there is no evil, I say they're wrong. You can medicalize the process of it flourishing and being expressed, but the threat remains. Evil is in our midst, searching for receptive minds. It whispers and invades any person so damaged or disordered as to be unable to resist its siren call of power, vengeance or greed. By all means learn about the process by which it is expressed, but don't be so arrogant as to think you can control it. Know thy enemy. Know its name. Complacency will see you destroyed as you think yourself too evolved to consider such notions.
Wisdom can be handed from one generation to another, but so can hate and intolerance. If we are wise we learn to distinguish the positive from the negative and discard the latter. That way we multiply what is wise and let go of the dark places evil would lead us.
I told you what would happen before it did and you laughed. I told you it was foolish to allow another chance for their redemption and you told me it was being granted regardless. I outlined the dangers to the passive population who only wish for a life of peace and you cited the rights of the others for another chance at total freedom. You were wrong. Now you look at me like I'm a magician, one who can predict the future, it's not hard. Simple models based on behavioural patterns show the outcome just as mathematics tells us the fundamentals of logic. All you won was the trauma of people who didn't deserve it, another victory handed uncontested to the dark side. You think me cruel to those you wish to save, yet those who need protection hear the wisdom in what I say. Trauma and stability don't go together, so decide what you want more of.
A varnish on something solid is a beautiful thing, an aesthetic to be proud of. Yet to say this is beautiful when it is a facade over the rotten, greed made palatable with the excuse of survival... even for the well healed... no. Just no. Be comfortable, be safe, that's okay... but let's take the varnish off the rot and polish the gems... aesthetics comes a long way after good foundations are laid.