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The Price of Wisdom

| by Romer Cherubim

( May 5, 2014, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) If you ask anybody what he hopes to possess in the future, the typical response to this question would be either a sports car or a mansion or a yacht. Of course, who would say that all three are undesirable? For some, this would be their idea of heaven. Imagine then the derision and laughter the answer “wisdom” would provoke!

However, wisdom is a commodity without which we cannot survive. It gives us the ability to stay away from toxic people, avoid counterproductive situations, cope with danger and much more besides. More than this, we would not be able to provide for ourselves and our loved ones if we did not exhibit some wisdom.

We are told that the older we get the wiser we become. It is arguable though that we use this statement to console ourselves after we make rash decisions. We only have to look at what is happening all around us to see adults taking actions, which do not reflect the maturity they should show, judging by their age. In some cases, the people concerned are power brokers, commanding the utmost respect. These individuals of whose actions we are critical rarely suffer because of their poor judgment. Why?

The reasons are as follows. In our modern society, we have been conditioned to crave material things to the exclusion of all else. It is as if we do not contribute anything meaningful to humanity without them. Further, we tend to disregard good judgment because we all have the capacity to exercise it. The fact that we do not do so from time to time is irrelevant. In short, we can all be wise, but it would seem that we cannot all be rich.

This assessment is naturally simplistic, yet it is the truth. We have to accept that some wise men will not attain the riches that others less perceptive will have. It goes without saying that this is an unjust state of affairs. But, whoever said that life is fair!

Society dictates that we must be pragmatic and understand that if we are to prosper, we have to take actions, which sometimes go against our better judgment. If our deeds are wise, that is just an added bonus. In the twenty-first century, a person’s wisdom will not give him prestige. Our success is not dependent on how wise we are.

Nevertheless, we should seek to exercise good judgment and not underestimate its benefits. Although wisdom does not equate to fortune, we can derive satisfaction from our insight when it helps us to deal with the imponderables life throws at us. More importantly, we all have the capacity to be wise. We do not have to worry about the price of wisdom. Unlike luxuries, it is free. All we have to do is use it!

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