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The Seeds of Wisdom

Text by: William Suddeth

Wisdom is often used and tried but rarely understood. Wisdom is the use of knowledge with a sound and discerning judgment based upon the experiences that have been lived. It is also based upon results of our past decisions and behaviors and the advice of others that lead and inspire through philosophies, writings, and speeches. As such, one may think they have developed their mental acumen and entrenched their understanding of "some" knowledge, but later they find themselves deceived and subjugated to the precepts of the one they followed.

To gain wisdom, we must utilize these skills: listening, reading, and writing. As we become actively involved, we must endeavor to understand the world around us, so we comprehend and partake in the circumstances we find ourselves in. As our breadth of understanding is broadened, the complexities become simple. However, when we allow ourselves to believe that the situation is simple, we decrease our capacity to participate, and the refinements that we created become flaccid.

Listening is a multifaceted activity that happens instantaneously. Some sound must enter the ear, sending the sound waves through our "internet" to the brain. Our brains must decode the sound wave into some recognized value, thereby giving us the opportunity to react to the information. We must understand that there is a difference between listening and active listening.

People too often turn off their hearing to formulate a response to the speaker's words. As such, people do not speak with one another, but they speak at each other. When this happens, words are tuned out and the true meaning of what is being relayed to us can be missed, thereby decreasing our ability to learn or change our perspective of the situation. Changes in perspective generally lead to further thoughts that may enable us to enrich and enhance our life temporally and/or spiritually.

© Jessica Ceason Photography

Another part of wisdom is the capacity to properly write and critically read. The current generation is becoming known as the "texting" generation. The use of a "code" language has been developed when sending quick messages to our friends and families through cell phones and emails. An example of this code is "LOL." It can either be "laugh out loud" or "lots of laughs," or it could be "lots of love" depending upon the intent of the message. Sentences are becoming fragmented to ease our typing to accommodate small keyboards, time constraints, and patience. Electronics have greatly assisted with our standard of living. They have also, however, decreased our capacity to convey basic meaning through the written word, creating an impatience and revulsion to writing a full-length correspondence.

The written word is forever, but the spoken word disappears the moment it leaves the speaker's lips if not recorded. When conveying our histories, poems, stories, and laws, we must be able to write succinctly and coherently to preserve them for prosperity. We can return to the text to garner and refresh lost meaning, so it is vitally important for a country and people to engender the love and appreciation for immortalizing their cultures, histories, thoughts, and more.

In addition to being able to write coherently, one must be able to read and take in the complete message that is being conveyed. Unfortunately, reading is becoming a lost art due to our desire to pop in a DVD, watch YouTube, DVR TV shows, or take our 3G devices wherever we go to receive all types of interactive downloads. Movies used to be two to three hours long with intermissions midway. Over the years, the movies have become shorter. Today a movie's length is around 90 minutes. DVDs have allowed us to start a movie, stop to take a break, and then restart it any time right where we left off. Skype and social media have revolutionized the way we communicate with one another. Technology has advanced to such a point that we would rather correspond through instant video chats, instant messaging, texting, and phone calls. We have become engrained with a deep thirst for instant gratification. When we do not receive the expected response immediately, we become irritated at the thought of having to wait.

As a result of the bombardment of all these types of immediate stimuli, regular, full-length books are slowly being replaced by short articles and blogs found on the Internet. Our attention spans have diminished, and our tolerance for long stretches of time has dwindled. Reading used to be a very interactive experience. Well-seasoned readers can unfold a story in their mind and see the characters' faces and movements. The reader would create the background picture of where the character lived, worked, and played. The reader could also generate the smells of food cooking, a gentle sea breeze, or flowers in bloom on a hot summer day. Regrettably, the ability to sit long enough in one place is being replaced with boredom, diminishing the aptitude to generate "the brain movie" because of impatience, lack of desire, and a reduced attention span.

If we lose our aptitude to interpret the embossed meaning, then we become subjected to the will of others. We lose the capability of elevating our lives with the great works of the past, like the masterpieces of Sir James Knowles or Alexander Dumas. People would rather see the movies of The Legends of King Arthur and His Knights or the Three Musketeers than read their works. When they see the movie, they miss the background information of the story:
© Jessica Ceason Photography
the character's thoughts, the intrigue, the history of the events that surround the setting, or the political upheavals. Additionally, people will not understand the foundational laws of their country because of the "out-datedness" of the language used thereby causing the people to be governed without knowledge and submitting to laws that may not have been properly created. As a result, they are tossed to and fro by the dictates of men.

During our trek on this earth and the short amount of time that we have, we can gain wisdom if we are actively engaged by our willingness to generate situations that provide quality knowledge. To do this, we must put away those things that generate instant gratification, which turns our brains off. If we set aside time that promotes listening, writing, and reading, we will boost our skills and thought processes to make informed decisions that create a rich and enduring life. Our conduct will be governed by the information that we have obtained from multiple sources through our developed senses. The seeds of wisdom are cultivated and nurtured through the import of our experiences that we learn from, utilizing our past knowledge gained to navigate the present and future. So you must ask yourself, "What type of future do I desire?"