March, 1, 2024: Wisdom is Not a Singular Category

A mind becomes a detriment when it acquires more intelligence than its integrity can handle.  Cullen Hightower

Our brains fuse our perceptions into a coherent movie — we don’t experience the gaps.  Randolph Hefrich

Perception is interpretation. That’s a fact and one reason facts can be used to tell lies. Fictions, like perceptions, can be used to tell truths. Confused?  Sit a bit and become acquainted with it, but not if you are operating any machinery, including one’s own mind if machine it be.  Hoo-nōs

Fictional Stories (maybe) that tell some truths (likely):

  • An individual became disenchanted with God. How can God allow so much misery?  So, the person starts a movement called The Uncommitted to God, mostly to get God’s attention. The movement did not notice just how much the devil smiled, as the devil knew there is no such thing as a stance that is uncommitted. God waits with aplomb; the devil waits for mistakes, as mistakes are plentiful, patience and insight not so much.
  • An individual is arrested and charged with second-degree murder in a convenience store robbery. At their trial, they explained they had told the customers not to move and even asked if they understood and if they agreed. The customers all nodded in the affirmative. During the robbery, one of them moved, “So naturally, I shot them, but as you can see, your Honor, it was the customer’s fault.”
  • A family was having a lot of trouble meeting their economic commitments. Another family agreed to loan them the needed money, without interest. If they made a bunch of money, they could pay it back.  If they could not pay back the loan, no effort or penalty would be imposed, as long as they met their economic commitments.  If not, all they owned, including their safety, would be forfeited.  Enough people lauded the solution as more than fair, as people should pay their bills.  So, the offer was made binding.  As it turned out, the author of the “solution” was eventually unable to pay their own bills.  But they claimed the bills were unfair in the first place, so they sought justice and when the ruling went against them, their cried “injustice.”  Enough people lauded the cry and agreed it was unfair.  So, they voted for a pardon, which allowed the individual to continue to not pay their debts and to continue imposing strictures on those who were unable to pay their bills.
  • An individual running a business got into politics. One platform was holding people accountable for breaking the law.  As this individual was charged with breaking laws—and was convicted in at least one case, with others pending, the issue was not about their own accountability as they had immunity since they had position.
  • The people of a democratic country grew profoundly exhausted of politics and power grabs, news that wasn’t new, “shadow players,” and the many who cried about their own loss of freedom, though they thought so many others were not entitled to freedom. So, a majority decided not to vote, as their vote did not count and no one listened to them anyway.  It turned out that those who did not vote, could indeed influence the outcome, as it is only the majority who do vote, that has influence in the way a vote counts.  Other folks in the world full of the hungry, those who did not have access to medical care, or clean anything, or safeguards—whose life was filled with war and death, wondered why so many in that democratic country were so lazy, so clueless, so mindless, and so ungrateful, they could not even get off their lazy ass to cast a vote.  Obviously that democratic country was bullshit, lamenting shamelessly about a life so many others would trade for in a heartbeat.  As it turned out, those feelings from folk in other countries, made many in the democratic country mad—just how jealous can others be of all those in a democracy who worked so hard and fought so bravely for the right to be free?

The Pondering Corner—where facts and interpretations may shake hands and raise a glass, or not:

Infancy comes in many forms—from being an infant to being old.  While the common distinction is about physical development, many biological, environmental, social, and psychological (BESP) problems can impede development. It is a fine thing to be an infant, but not afterwards, unless it cannot be biologically or environmentally helped.

Childhood comes in many forms—from being a child to being old.  While the common distinction is about cognitive-emotional development, many BESP problems can occur and/or gain traction and impede development. It is a fine thing to be a child, but not afterwards, unless it’s as a child or if it cannot be biologically or environmentally helped.

Youth comes in many forms—from being young to being old.  While the common distinction is about developing an identity, many BESP problems can occur and/or gain traction and impede development. It is a fine thing to be young, but not afterwards, unless it is a youthful heart and mind continued until death—or if it cannot be biologically or environmentally helped.

Middle age comes in many forms—from being young to being old.  While the common ground is about responsibility, many BESP problems can occur and/or gain traction and impede development.  It is a fine thing to be middle-aged, but not before, unless it cannot be biologically or environmentally helped.

Old age comes in many forms—all of them about growing old.  While the common ground can be wisdom, many BESP problems can occur and/or gain traction and impede development.  It is a fine thing to be old, but not before, unless it cannot be biologically or environmentally helped.

Fear comes in at least two forms—realistic or neurotic.  Best to know the distinctions.

Clarity comes in at least two forms—from being open but grounded or from learning. Be very careful of both forms as imprints can be difficult to uproot if it becomes necessary—and many times it can become necessary.

Power comes in at least two forms—soft or hard, whether organizational or personal.  Best to use either judiciously, otherwise it is not true power, it is abuse.

It is neither liberal or conservative, democratic or republican, religious or not, educated or not, rich or poor, of whatever ethnicity or ability that matters more than wisdom.  Quit the categories as the place to become entrenched, though categories can have value.  But do not go so far as to think wisdom is its own category. It is not. It is too diverse, though it has a common theme—consideration borne from paying attention to gaps or spaces in the field of attention. Otherwise, life and learning become a “fill-in the blank” exercise and/or reliving conditioned associations.

Such consideration is seldom conveyed when waving flags or carrying signs in divergent groups, though there are exceptions.  Keep those behaviors for similar groups who agree, but never stay only in one’s own group. When being considerate, consider not going too far—as in giving a pardon to thugs, even if we hope they quit thugging.  Hope is not a consideration; it is a wish. It can be fine to have wishes, but it might not be wise to give them away, or worse, to sell them to the highest bidder.

The Make-the-Distinction Corner:

Justice delayed is justice denied.  William E. Gladstone

Justice rushed is justice hushed.  Hoo-nōs

Who benefits—a slew or a few?  There are other distinctions, but follow the gain and the pain, and the answer might become plain?

We all share similarities and we all have our uniquenessOkay, now what—go ganging together or separately?  Hoo-nōs

Gatherings can be good.  Gangs are likely up to no good.  It is also possible the reverse is true. It is also possible for an individual to be up to good or not.  Who benefits and who does not may be an appropriate question?

We don’t even ask happiness, just a little less pain.  Charles Bukowski

If we’ve gotten that far, it might be a bit too far.  Less pain might bring happiness back, but no pain at all would not.  Here the distinction is about the greater benefit for as close to all as we can possibly get, which automatically means less pain for fewer people.

Does thinking and feeling we need enough space in order to learn to be our best selves, mean we can offer peace, but not keep it unless the conditions are right?  Hoo-nōs

Is everything conditional, transactional?  So, we choose to love, we choose to be just, we choose to be kind and considerate?  Anyone wary of love chosen or rights, freedom and rules handed out, or justice meted out?  What if those topics only need discussion when denying rights, freedom and rules, or justice—not when it is about who gets them?  Or denying love when one already has it, though it can certainly feel otherwise?  Democracy means we start with rights, freedom and rules, and justice—we are bound by it.  And it means we honor love, though we’ are not required to be bound to it as that misses the point.

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