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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Attaining Wisdom: A Sunday Challenge

How does one attain wisdom? It is obviously a most important element to individual and collective success. It is also painfully obvious of its lack in the "House Divided" mentality so evident today.

So, I pose the question again...

How does one attain wisdom? (pause to reflect on that)

According to Confucius, who I believe will be widely accepted as an expert on this subject, had the following suggestion. I will break it down into its three elements, or three methods as Confucius said:


"First by reflection, which is noblest." Why is reflection the noblest way to attain wisdom? Is it because deep down in our soul, or human consciousness if you prefer, the answers lye hidden in a mystic pool ready to be hooked and pulled to the surface? Is it simply in the "taking time" that we gain wisdom by not acting or reacting negatively? How often do you reflect? What is reflection for you? How do you reflect?


"Second, by imitation, which is easiest." Why is imitation easiest? If you imitate a thought do you become that thought? If I'm sad but decide to imitate being happy, do I become happy? Is it like imitating the answers on an exam from the genius sitting across from you in class...or is that cheating? Is imitating life actually cheating life? How do you imitate? Who do you imitate? Why do you imitate?


"Third, by experience, which is the bitterest." Ah, the good ole' School of Hard Knocks. Nothing gives you wisdom quicker and more painfully than learning from your mistakes, which in effect is experience. Granted, you can learn from the experience of success...but the really good experiences are the bitterest. I call them the Post Its of the Soul...Battle Scars! Why is experience the bitterest? What has been your bitterest experience that has brought you into the light of Wisdom?

For me, I will go and reflect, then imitate my vision and gain experience from Endeavoring to Engage with myself and the world and people around me.

So, there you have it class, your homework for this Sunday. Class dismissed. You must post your answers in the comments to pass.

Sir Hook the Professor of Wisdom of Warrick


  1. Reflection : Life is not long, and too much of it must not pass in idle deliberation of how it should be spent ( also i have a tattoo on my forehead that says Idiot, that disappears when I look in the mirror )

    Imitation : does not mean the absence of thought, but the end of thought.

    Experience :

    I married Way Too Young.

    ( she was a Chinese girl....that was her name )

    Sir Dayvd ( may I have the Hindsight to see where i have been, the Foresight to see where I am going, and the insight to know when I have gone too far )

    of Oxfordshire

  2. Reflection: 15 minutes a day keeps the demons away!

    Imitation: First was Paul McCartney, then Neil Young, then Ian Anderson, then Don Johnson in Miami Vice, then I stopped to reflect and starting imitating myself.

    Experience: Learning to keep living after the death of my mother, Failing my first semester of college, Being fired from my first job, losing a business, ending a 23 year partnership, rebuilding a new business, open heart surgery and breaking my back in an auto accident have all taught me invaluable lessons in life.

    Sir Hook Getting Wiser By the Minute of Warrick

  3. Excellent and timely blog.
    I've been working turning half the garage into a woodworking shop. I used to love to woodwork -- even at the expense of a hutch that's not exactly square, or a table not level, or a middle digit cut off and sewn back on again.

    My latest project has taught me that I can try to gain all the knowledge in the world through reading plans, books, instructions on how to make the strongest joints
    (yes, I know it starts with the right soil and seeds...). What I have to keep reminding myself is that wisdom comes in cutting a board too short, or drilling a hole in the wrong place.

    Wisdom comes in the experience and being alert to the results -- learning opportunities.

    Off to reflect on my project and how to correct my latest learning opportunity.

    Sir Bowie "who still has all his digits knock on wood" of Greenbriar

  4. reflection = 15 minutes a day, thinking and praying for guidance for the time allotted me

    imitation = once upon a time imitating my mother who was the most important figure in my life, until I saw that she was a real human being living her life the best she knew how so now I imitate that being

    wisdom = life experiences keep teaching me how very little I do know, and that I need to keep expanding my ocean of life: whether it be friendships, relationships, experiences,knowledge,opportunities to say yes,
    it's all a growing and learning process
    that will continue until my last breath of life

    Lady S
    who has seen many babies at work today - they are just beginning this miracle of life!

  5. Late to the party, but here goes:

    Reflection: as a navel gazer extraordinaire, the quintessential navel gazer, one might say, I think I've got that one covered. Drop by my personal blog on any given day and you'll probably see what I mean. I have often referred to blogging as an act of public mental masturbation. Which may or may not be appropriate for the reflection section of my essay, but what the heck - it's fun to say.

    Imitation: Hmmmm. Fake it till you make it. This is a harder one for me to answer. There have been people who I've WANTED to emulate, but it never goes well for me. Perhaps I'm too self-centered to imitate. And we're right back to reflection...

    Experience: Oh yeah. That one. I have learned (the hard way) that we all metabolize things a little differently. I have learned (the hard way) not to judge a book by it's cover. I have learned (the hard way) that I can only control myself, not those around me. I have learned that I am fallible and that others are too and that if I expect my flaws to be accepted I must accept theirs as well. I have learned that things are not always - are rarely, to be more accurate - fair. I'm in the process of learning to roll with that.

    Lady T. (who is learning something new every day) of Pickerington

  6. Excellent late addition Lady T. You continue to coin "KMSA Phrases" that will stand the test of time:

    Navel Gazer, Public Mental Masturbation

    Sir Hook the Fallible of Warrick