Thursday, July 19, 2012
(I would say that I'm still firmly middle-aged, but the math doesn't add up.)
Intelligence is not the same as Wisdom, of course. I'm reasonably intelligent, but I've always made it a point to squander my intelligence on decisions like which running shoe is best on hard surfaces versus what should I do with my life. Now that I'm older, the trajectory of my life is pretty much set, so there's less opportunity to screw it up further. The result is Wisdom.
And I'll take what I can get. It's good to have an asset of any kind between middle age and senility. Being wise is definitely better than being pathetic, or malodorous, or incontinent. All of which I may also become at some point.
But it's kind of a pity word, quite honestly. Like Courageous. Whenever someone is described as courageous, you go, "Uh-oh, that's not a good sign."
When you say someone is wise, what you generally mean is that they are old, but not drooling, and they haven't broken any major laws recently.
That pretty much describes me. What hair I have left is getting awfully gray, and I can barely walk from my bed to the bathroom every morning without stopping to rest. I'm not any smarter than I was thirty years ago, or better looking, or more physically fit. But I've avoided prison, and if you ask me a serious question I can generally give you an answer with more depth of thought that someone who's seventeen.
So if someone says, "Todd has gained wisdom over the past few years," I'm going to take it as a compliment...and be thankful they didn't call me courageous.