In “As You Like It” Shakespeare wrote, “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” Wisdom isn’t merely false modesty. Perhaps, authentic wisdom lies within the self-awareness that I really don’t know much at all. Wisdom might be the “fool” who gets this: The one who continues to learn, and dedicates him or herself to be greater than he or she knows.
The real fool not only “knows” that he or she is wise. The ‘real’ fool has the arrogance to believe that wisdom is attained in isolation, on the solitary path. No. Not really.
Both you and I are the aggregate sum and collaboration of others we believe in, and those, who believe in us. I arise from my collective communities. For me, that is Aikido, work, family, and friends. I have no possibility of wisdom living in a vacuum. I have to be open to my communities for wisdom to occur.
Sensei Dan said, “Have no perceived notions.” Bruce Lee said, “Empty you mind. Be formless. Shapeless. Like water.” Wisdom sources from nothing. Creation only occurs from nothing.
I’m grateful for the wisdom of Mom, Sensei Dan, John, and John over the course of my life. They remind me, “I still have a lot to learn.”
Wisdom surrenders to the infinite possibility of the universe. The universe was here long before us, and shall continue longer after. Instead of looking for life’s answers, ask your profound questions. What is my purpose? What shall be my legacy? What difference can I make?
Wisdom isn’t about possessing vast knowledge. For one thing that’s entirely futile: I’ll never know everything. No shit.
I discover wisdom is in giving away to others, what has made difference for me. Wisdom is in emptying, giving away all that I have been gifted in my life. I give away what I got from Mom, Sensei, John and John, and others I’ve been privileged to share life with. Wisdom is also in gratitude.
I’m grateful for all those who came before me. I pass on what I can to those, who shall follow me. Wisdom is in leaving the world perhaps a little greater than when I came into it. That might not be great wisdom, yet leaving a greater world is my sincerest hope.
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