Wisdom nearly always finds the right path
Challenges of Living to Age 100
What do you do with all the wisdom you possess? Senior brains are loaded with life experiences, challenges solved, memories, recollections of failures and often the desire to share. We have heard of the wise men, the guru, the sage, the oracle, parents and grandparents.
Recently, there was a discussion about the theory of knowledge. How do you know what you know? What we have learned, processed, adapted, used and accumulated is knowledge and our wisdom. That which guides and directs us on the right path is wisdom.
Do your grandchildren ask: “Grandpa, what do you think?” Are they anxious for your wisdom? How many times did your children ask for your advice, counsel and wisdom? Did you give it without being asked? About the best approach is giving them the tools to make their own decisions.
Counseling uses wisdom to help others to help themselves. Ask questions that are thought starters. Use open-ended questions: “Have you visited the financial aid office at your school to find gifts, grants and scholarships?” Provide a phone number or a contact person resource.
Rather than attacking a grandchild’s potential spouse, ask: “What special qualities do you like about Jimmie? What are his career plans? What kind of work does he enjoy?” Your tool of inquiry is focused on the positive. It represents your wisdom without being judgmental, critical or condescending.
Remember the Bible story “The Wisdom of Solomon?” When God asked him what he wanted when he became king, he responded: “Give your servant an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong.” He did not ask for riches, a long life, nor the life of his enemies. How did he help the two mothers claiming to be the mother of a baby? Check it out! Scripture is the feast of wisdom.
A new program for seniors is called “Wisdom Circles.” At a time of increasing loneliness and individualism, the Wisdom Circles provide a challenging approach to your own spiritual, social and consciousness-raising in group settings. It is practical, inspirational, communication building and recognizes the power of the “circle.” Retirement communities and church groups are initiating these circles.
Do you recognize community problems? Write a letter to the editor, contact your legislator and focus on positive solutions. Share your wisdom and make a difference.
Ed Baranowski is president of Topics Unlimited, a Melbourne-based education, seminar and consulting company. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.