* This post was inspired by a quote that I love and a conversation I had with my beautiful mom, recently. Thanks, Mama. (smile)
How One Becomes Wise
It was one of those lazy kind of Friday afternoons. The kind where you lounge around like Bruno Mars saying you don’t feel like doing anything (just minus the chimps dancing around you). Anyways, I was having a conversation with my mom and we were just talking about life stuff. While I was talking to her, I noticed that she started smiling admiringly at me and so I gave her that slightly confused “do I have a green stuck in my tooth” kind of look. She then asked me,
“How did you get so wise?”
I looked at her and let out a little laugh. This is a woman that is thirty years older than me asking me, ME, how I got so wise. Smiling, I simply said,
“From being stupid.”
Of course, we both busted out laughing after I said that (my dad threw in his loud “Ha!” in the background), but it was the honest truth! I wasn’t born knowing what I know now. One has to first be a fool, before they can become wise. I mean, how can you teach anyone anything, if you never allow yourself to be a student? Life is a university and everyone we meet on its campus is a teacher AND a student. All of us are currently enrolled in life courses that cover things like falling in love, dealing with heartbreak, even learning how to identify real friends from fake ones. Notice how I said we ARE enrolled, not we WERE. That’s because life is a school where we are ALWAYS learning and we never really “graduate”. We simply become collectors of life lessons as we go through life, using those experiences as a guide to help us avoid future pitfalls. But, sometimes, we are faced with difficult situations that we are not yet prepared for, because they are experiences we have never really dealt with. Think about the first time you found out you were going to be a parent, or your first time in a serious relationship. You had no clue what to do, let alone what to expect, right? We do the best we can with the knowledge we have acquired from past experiences and mistakes, but sometimes we are presented with a situation, in which we do not yet have the know-how to deal with. Basically, we become inexperienced all over again. Those kind of moments happen to show us that there is still so much about life we have yet to learn and that there will always be room left for us to grow. No matter how old we get and how wise we think we have become, we will always be presented with situations that remind us that we will never really know everything there is to know about life. As we advance through life, the lessons will get harder. They will challenge us and push us to the brink of giving up. There’s a reason why they say “We live and we learn”.
You shouldn’t be so hard on yourself when you discover that you’ve made a wrong decision about something, or that you were not perceptive enough to avoid a situation. Even the smartest people on the planet have moments when they are the not-so-bright lightbulb in the package (trust me… I KNOW). Whenever you make a mistake, don’t look at it as a failure but as a lesson learned. Yes. Sometimes those mistakes can cost us a lot. We may lose friends, or get our hearts broken. Shoot. We may lose a bit of dignity along the way. But you know something? That’s alright. Without mistakes, we would have no teachers. Somebody had to make the mistakes to tell us how to do it RIGHT. So, the next time you talk to a wise man, or woman, and wonder how they got all their wisdom, just remember that they got that way because…
They are experiencing life at a rate of several WTF’s per hour.
Couch Talks, Wisdom & A Cup of Joe
* Image courtesy of Google