We owe a lot of thanks for hindsight. It helps us to learn through reflection.
Most people do not pay the necessary attention to foresight. We often ignore our own wisdom because we either feel it is unearned or somehow misguided. Or it could just be that too few of us completely trust ourselves, experiences and that which we have learned. Wisdom is not something one must wait for and it is not only held by those in the winter of life. Oh, and wisdom is a lot more than sound judgement…
Wisdom can aid you just as much as reflection; most importantly, though, it tells you when to walk away.
Experience is a wonderful thing and something you shouldn’t be too quick to rob yourself of, though knowing your place in or out of a situation is invaluable. I am sure you have been told to “pick your battles,” probably by a parent (or as a parent!), sometime during your younger years. Silly and simple as it may sound, that is an incredibly hard thing to do.
Enter wisdom: use what you know, what you have, and your experience. Employ all you that have gleamed from previous, similar moments or situations. Have the sense to keep your mouth shut no matter how much your tongue begs to be wagged. Equally important is to remembering to open it when you should. Sometimes you have more to gain if you let things be. It is not a failure to walk away, nor are you weak if you decline a battle. Some people would say it shows great strength to resist the urge to fight. I would agree. Sometimes it is a much greater challenge to walk away because it is so hard to see beyond the sting of what we perceive as a relinquishing of our fight.
You do not have to be old to be wise. And, it is that plain and simple. We often liken wisdom to old age and we should not. There are a lot of young people who possess great wisdom. Many of them are under the age of five. What we fail to acknowledge is the fact that wisdom is not merely advice, it is perspective. And, sometimes the perspective we need is not what the one we have and so we must seek it out, if we are meant to learn anything. The beautiful thing about the wisdom of youth is that they do not even know what they have. In many ways, it seems oddly purer and more truth-filled than that gathered over a lifetime of experience. It is untainted and genuine. They are absent of bitterness and grudge, and so full of unfiltered thought. A great many of the smartest, most logical and beautiful things I have ever heard passed through the lips of a small child. People absolutely do not pay enough attention to those words, and they should.
Wisdom is out there waiting for you; you should not lay in wait for it. That will not get you anywhere, and you will be no wiser. You can pluck bits of wisdom from nearly everyone and everything. All of them have something to offer you, something that you cannot get from anything or anyone else – their own perspective and unique view of the world. Too many times we go in search of the same and too many times we focus on the different; without difference we would have nothing to exchange. Difference is the currency of the world. At least it should be. And, in the very least, we should try to celebrate it more than we do.
We all have our own pearls of wisdom to share. Some of us have the courage to share them and others are simply too unsure, and that is okay; with time comes confidence. We all will learn one day to walk away and not see it as failure; there should not be sides or tally. One day, I hope, we will see the differences between us as beauty – 7-plus billion gems all dancing together like diamonds on the water.
And, one day, just maybe, we will all realize we should be listening to the children. Hopefully that happens before it is too late, before they grow up.