Wisdom has been an obsession of mine, with greater and lesser intensity, over the years starting about about the 6th grade. Growing up in a home and culture where the Bible was assumed to be the guidebook to a good and prosperous life, it became my first source of understanding the importance of Wisdom. From the pulpits of religion, I heard about how Wisdom would be a companion to those who seek her.
Wisdom was often referred to as a woman who called out to the simple folk. She entreated her listeners to take heed to her, and riches and honor would be the result. This language appealed to me and so with the fires of intellect sparked, I was reading Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, a result of my 7th grade teacher’s ability to see that I had a desire for more self awareness. I sought out other material and found the book of Proverbs to speak upon the subject that intrigued me at the dawning of my intellectual reasoning.
What I learned about Wisdom and her charms has continued and progressed all my life, leading me into the vocation of a counselor. While I spent my time learning from books and the life experience of others, Wisdom was still something that seemed to be what I acquired from sources outside myself. I was always deferring to the Wisdom of those whom I deemed better than I, to know me and what I should do. This disconnect I experienced with Wisdom, I surmised, was just how it was meant to be. Therefore, even when giving advice and “wisdom” to others, I did it in such a way that made them dependent, like I was, on others for knowing what was the wise and prudent thing to do in any situation.
As I have grown and matured in my development, I have found Wisdom is a thought entity that is as real as any thought or dream or idea. For most of my life, I was a learner and sat devotedly at the feet of others, who were revered as wise. I was content with that for many years. Yet, in truth, being a friend of a friend of Wisdom was not at all the close relationship that I had always longed for. There always was a level of separation based upon some agreement, made long ago, that I was not worthy to hear directly from the lips of most beautiful Wisdom.
Some idea had wormed its way into my mind making me truly doubtful about my own decision-making skills in life, leaving me on the surface brave, yet truly wishing for someone to tell me what to do so I could secretly blame them when it went disappointingly wrong. I needed something more life affirming and not an ego boost based upon my affiliations with others.
So it was at the intersection of skill, knowledge and desire that I met Wisdom in my quiet times. We began a friendship of intimacy, not of community. I learned for the first time to consistently quiet myself and wait to feel the assurances that come with acceptance that there need not be a third party. No poet, priest or politician was necessary for Wisdom’s melodic voice to be heard and heeded by me.
All I had read and known was not relied upon, instead I opened myself up to the thought that I am as special as anyone I have ever met, and Wisdom is longing for me as I have always longed for her. What is more is that I came to find out that Wisdom could be asked questions and aid was always given with the right questions. My attentional resources were rewarded with the communion and the union with the fair form of Wisdom that I had long been stranger to.
As it happens, Wisdom has friends that are of such a lovely nature that soon I found a family of caring thoughts that desire only someone who will open up to them their hearts and hands. The names of which include Love, Joy, Peace, Gentleness, disinterested Kindness and many others. Wisdom is the glue that puts all things together in it proper place for me. Teaching me that, “He is no fool, who gives what he cannot keep, to gain that which he cannot lose.” Wisdom I cannot lose and Ignorance I cannot keep. What a happy life knowing these liberating thoughts.
– Duane Raphael Smith
D. Raphael Smith enjoys expressions of all types appealing to all the sensory pathways. He shares his gratitude for his life and the lives that he is in contact with by helping others in his community near and far. He currently is a househusband taking care of his 2 year old son. He can be contacted at Raphaelity on Facebook.