The Aging Face of Wisdom

No one truly enjoys getting older after we reach the legal drinking age. At that age, we can do anything except run for President of the US. We are accustomed to believing that once we reach that age, we can tackle the world because we are adults. But are we? Maybe in age, but certainly not in wisdom.

Although many may look at aging, as a dreadful experience – more wrinkles, less muscle, more aches & pains, more pressures, etc. I love elevating to the next tier in life because each year is another chapter in the book of wisdom. Although wisdom is so hard to define because it is a matter of the mind, and not a tangible object. However, it is such an integral part of being human. I truly believe that the more challenges faced, and overcome help create a new chapter in the book of wisdom. I also believe that the more happy moments encountered, help create another chapter in the book of wisdom.

But what is Wisdom? According to Psychologist Paul Bates in Psychology Today, wisdom is “expert knowledge in the fundamental pragmatics of life that permits exceptional insight, judgment, and advice about complex and uncertain matters.” His theory focuses on five key components: procedural knowledge, factual knowledge, contexts of life, understanding of values and priorities and the ability to manage uncertainty. I found his definition of wisdom to be right on point, although I would add a sixth component to include the understanding of the ‘positive ethical values toward the achievement of a common good’ through a balance as defined by Dr. Robert Sternberg. In laymen’s terms, we gain wisdom through life experiences, and it is that wisdom that helps us achieve a positive outcome for the common good.

When I think of wisdom, I naturally reflect on the Dalai Lama.

“Experience breeds wisdom, and wisdom breeds vision. But experience alone does not create wisdom; he emphasized the need for us to process our experiences.”

Dalai Lama

So basically, wisdom comes from how we process life’s experiences. First, we experience, then we process and then we create a positive outcome for the greater good. This is wisdom! With each year added to our lives, we climb another step on the ladder to achieving greater wisdom. It is this wisdom that should be passed on to the next generation.

So Yes, I love aging because with every new day comes more wisdom.


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