Wisdom and Adversity

Posted: March 27, 2014 in World On The Edge


Aren’t you amazed at the brilliance of people around us–smart people who push advances along in science, technology, medicine, physics, and a multitude of so much more. But are these people necessarily wise?

Intelligence is not the same as wisdom. Think of someone you consider wise. A parent, or grandparent? A counselor or teacher? A spiritual leader? Do you think they became wise because of their brilliant minds? or is there something else that makes a person truly wise?

Isn’t it his or her conscious choice to “do the right thing?” A person may not want to choose such a thing–yet he does it. And he does it courageously, because he sees a higher purpose.

A person may be born with genes of high intelligence, but I don’t believe a person is born wise. We discover wisdom for ourselves, usually after a journey through something dire, a path which must be our own–no one can take it for us. We have the capability of becoming wise after a journey through adversity. And each of us sometime in our lives, take such a journey.

Is there a better teacher of compassion than one’s own experience of suffering? Is there a better way to learn humility than to make a mistake? And when we face a adverse situation, such as illness or the death of a loved one, we often think about what LIFE actually means.

Of course, not ALL people grow wise from adversity–some grow mean, bitter, and revengeful. So what is the difference?

I believe it is a spiritual grounding, a belief in God who showed us the ‘right’ way, and continues to grace us with the strength to make courageous choices in difficult circumstances.




  1. Cheryl says:

    Your post reminds me of a recent discussion I had with someone who is very smart, but seems to think that all answers are to be found in science and philosophy. The heart and soul get short shrift with him. I find it sad, but he’s young, and I pray that he’ll learn some wisdom as he ages.


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