Aging to Perfection: Part 2 - Wisdom


I don’t know about you, but if I am lucky enough to grow old, I hope I get there having aquired a little wisdom along the way. All I know so far is that wisdom has a price. Anything of real value does not come cheap and money can’t buy life’s richest gifts – they can only be earned.

Stephen S. Hall wrote a fascinating article, published in the New York Times Magazine in May of 2007, called The Older-and-Wiser Hypothesis. I am exerpting some concepts discussed in Mr. Smith’s article:

3 Aspects of Human Activity Central to Wisdom:

  1. Acquisition of knowledge (Cognition)
  2. Analysis of information (Reflection)
  3. Filtering knowledge and information through the emotions (Affection)

Characteristics of a Wise Person:

  • a clear-eyed view of human nature and the human predicament.
  • having the ability to step outside oneself and understand another’s point of view.
  • possessing forgiveness, compassion and humility.
  • emotional resiliency; being able to handle adversity and bounce back emotionally.
  • an openness to other possibilities.
  • being balanced in heart and mind when reaching a decision.
  • making good decisions.
  • acknowledging, at the level of both thought and action, uncertainty.
  • having the ability to cope in the face of adversity and remain calm in the midst of a crisis.
  • possessing a sense of emotional contentment, even in the face of adversity or uncertainty.
  • having a knack for learning from lifetime experiences.
  • appreciating one’s historical, cultural and biological circumstances during the arc of a life span.

Adversity and loss seem to be human experiences that are inseparable from the development of wisdom. And he writes, “There’s a lot of loss associated with aging, and humans are the only species that recognizes that time eventually runs out. That influences the motivation to savor the day-to-day experiences you have, it allows you to be more positive. Appreciating the fragility of life helps you savor it.”

Do you have any thoughts on wisdom to share?

This is the Part 2 of Aging to Perfection Here is a link to Part1.

This information is offered for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, prescribe or treat. For that please seek direct care from a health professional.

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