Archive for May, 2014

Of Wisdom and Intelligence

Monday, May 26th, 2014

As I draw near to the 55th anniversary of my arrival on earth, I cannot help but lose myself in philosophical discourse from time to time. And the coming of age of each of my adult children (25, 22, soon to be 18) provide ample opportunities to dig into how things really work in the world. Like the difference between wisdom and intelligence.

When pressed, each of us could offer a distinction or two. And they would all be right. But above all else, I believe the biggest difference between wisdom and intelligence is in the speed of the collection process. Let me explain.

Intelligence can be built and expanded upon through the disciplined and creative processes used to take on new information. These experiences can happen as rapidly as we can assimilate them. Many of them happen very rapidly indeed. Each of my children are quite adept at taking on new information, especially in areas of personal interests. In so many ways, they are much smarter than me.

Wisdom, on the other hand, is best built upon a longitudinal journey through our lives, until we breath our last. Perhaps it is simply part of the human condition that we have to learn many of our most important lessons the hard way. Our own self-imposed natural selection process that we hopefully survive, as we live into our dumb decisions. Not only did my wife Debbie and I get to live through our dumb decisions over the last 33 years, now we get to see our super smart progeny making many of the exact same dumb decisions as we did, despite our sincere advice to them otherwise.

Oh, that’s right. It’s that human condition thing again.

I’ve also heard wisdom defined as the ability to see things as they really are. In this vein, I am wise enough to know that it is time for a new act, and so I mark my transition into semi-retirement, whatever that means. I have been publishing this blog as a labor of love for some eight years now, and I have enjoyed every minute of it (well, mostly). I will continue to accept limited coaching engagements, though they will be interspersed between downsizing, vacationing and traveling with the love of my life for over 30 years, Debbie.

I bid you all blessings.