If you haven't heard, a plane crashed in Palm Coast this week. Literally less than 1 mile away from the runway. Due to mechanical malfunction, it didn't make it nor did the pilot and his two passengers. 1 mile! 1 mile is the same exact distance from my house to the crash site. Had the wind been blowing differently or stronger or weaker, would it or could it have been me? I think about this a lot. How close are we to others or others situation that we feel like we don't have anything in common? The woman of the house happened to hear God speak to her and tell her to stay put as she went to go into the living room. She heard him tell her to stop. She did and thereby she saved her own life. She was in the bedroom, the plane crashed into the living room where her daughters and grandson usually are. They through divine intervention were not home that day. I wondered if someone had been injured that was her relative, would she still have felt that God was involved?
I'm reading a book called How to Live, A Search for Wisdom from Old People by Henry Alford. He made a list of people in their eighties and he sought them out to find out what they thought Wisdom is. Evidently there isn't a clear definition of wisdom even among all the dissertations in the Phd Academia. Clayton from USC in the 1950s comes closest, she writes by stating it "could mean a lot of different things, it was often applied to social situations and was marked by judgment, reflection, and compassion." In 1984 Paul Baltes picked up where Clayton left and started the Berlin Wisdom Project. As Alford writes, he decides "But maybe wisdom is a matter of certainty and action, I started thinking, than it is compassion that arises from cool-headedness. Maybe it's quieter than I thought it was."
I'm only half way through the book but I notice he keeps bringing his mother up and her resilience, strength and wisdom. I'm thinking that he will end up stating that wisest ones we know are our mothers. (I'm hoping)
I read in Dear Abby this week about the origin of the abbreviation Mrs. A writer asked the columnist a logical question. She understood where the use of the letter r came from in Mr. as Mister has an r in it. But where does Mrs. originate as Misses doesn't have an r in the word? Come to find out that it is the abbreviation for Mistress. That's right, Mistress used to mean the wife or the widow of a man. How did that word get twisted to mean the woman with which a man has an affair and is NOT married? Where is the wisdom in that lexicon history?
My family always has the serenity prayer openly displayed in their homes. It is about wisdom. God grant me the wisdom to change the things I can, the wisdom to accept the things I cannot change, and wisdom [notice it is not THE wisdom] to know the difference. Lately I've noticed I can't change what people's perception about me are. I can only smile and look them in the eye. From there it is what it is. I can't change it and I accept that. As I've told many people, if someone doesn't like you are treat you well due to their own reality, accept it and move on. There are many more good qualities about you than their narrow-minded view of the one they have zeroed in on for illusion of disdain and for which they chose to ignore the total package.
Many women think that buying new clothes and buying fake nails at a salon and new make up and hair is a way of taking care of yourself. I counter and disagree respectfully. You can comb your hair, and let the gray grow out, and wear clean clothes and still convey the same message. As we age, realize that clothes and nails and hair can only get more expensive. So being the gym rat that I am and that I feel comfortable being, I save a lot of money by not buying the latest fashion, and doing my nails and buying new jewelry. Its all a rat race. Compare my yearly budget to those same women and I can survive on their allocation of this one expense category. Now that is wisdom.
By the way that book about wisdom I got from the Country Inns and Suites Library. Most people don't know that this chain of hotel allows you to take a book and just return it to any other Country Inns and Suites in America. No charge. How cool is that? Knowing people are usually good, or as my IT professor says, we have to "keep" them that way, they will return them. Good way to get people to be brand loyal. Not to mention their free warm and freshly cooked cookies they give every afternoon around 5 PM.
I read one more tidbit about wisdom in this book that intrigued me. An octogenarian that walked 3000 miles in her wiser years to protest and bring attention to her cause, said that we realize as we get older that we have less time to make our mark on this earth. When we leave, that is it, we're gone. Lord knows I've tried to live by this mantra. But I wonder sometimes if it really matters to anyone else the passions that we hold dearly to our heart. Thank God for the younger generation that we can pass the torch to....I'm waiting for that recipient, I haven't met them yet. As the animal known for wisdom hoots, you know it as the owl, Who will it be? Wise universe, please send them to me.