Tuesday, April 12, 2011

(11) Wisdom & Folly

"More weighty than wisdom or wealth is a little folly!
The wise man's understanding turns him to his right;
the fool's understanding turns him to his left."
[Ecclesiastes 10: 1-2, from the Old Testament]

Comment: Alas, folly is part and parcel of the human condition.
None of us are wise all of the time, though many of us are
oft unwise much of the time. Not finger-pointing here, rather
simply stating the fact. Why? No doubt one can come up with
a myriad of answers to the question, but I would rather focus
on one answer that involves our evolutionary development
along with education and experience.

Human development simply is not an even process when it
comes to the evolution of our minds, much less wisdom!
Of course there's the biological development of our brains.
Is it so much our brain size, or is it the snapping of those
synapses? Could be that some special human brains snap
a lot faster than others. There's those "good" genes, too!

On the other hand, maybe education comes into play when
it involves evolving brains. The more information fed into our
brain, the more snapping synapses. But the question that begs
to be addressed is about the varied levels of human education.
It's an incredibly uneven development at best.

Unfortunately much of our planet's population is ill educated,
if that. Literacy would seem at a premium in many countries,
And evolution is not a guarantee either. There are smart people
who rarely display any semblance of wisdom, whereas some
people with little or no education seem wise beyond their years.

So however in the world do we become wise, or at least
wiser? Maybe it's the school of hard knocks? Perhaps it
boils down to experience, or maybe wisdom is innate?

Anyway, I once knew a man who seemed infinitely wise.
Frankly I envied him. He always seemed to say the right
thing, never caught lapsing when it came to putting forth a
wise demeanor. But once in his life he actually made a
seriously wrong decision--and it ultimately led to his death.

So that taught me a valuable lesson about the "perfection"
of wisdom. We can only do our best, and hope for the best
when it comes to wisdom. And, yes, folly would always seem
a constant counterpart to wisdom. It's always there, waiting.