The Tenth Virtue – Wisdom
Navigating through life’s challenges and social situations
“Wisdom is the principal thing. Therefore, get wisdom.” -King Solomon – The Wisest Man of All Time
A. Two dimensions of wisdom
The ancient Greeks loved wisdom. In ancient Athens a group of them would gather on top of Mars Hills to talk about the latest news, and share their newfound ideas. They continually sought after the latest wisdom and knowledge. Wisdom comes from the Greek word Sophia, which has a horizontal and vertical dimension. Horizontal wisdom was and is discovered by experiencing life; learning from making mistakes, passing on information, telling stories, etc. For the Greeks, vertical wisdom came from the gods above. The Greeks had many gods and believed these gods possessed a superior wisdom than humans. At times the Greeks made appeals for wisdom to their “higher power.” Therefore, tapping into wisdom’s two dimensions helps you make good decisions and navigates you through life’s challenges. When you find yourself at the crossroads of life (a crossroad is a place where critical life decisions are made) you need to tap into the two dimensions of wisdom.
What are the most important nuggets of truths (horizontal wisdom) you have learned from life experience or someone else?
What is the most profound “vertical wisdom” (Revelation; sudden insight from a spiritual source) you have received from your “higher power”?
B. Wisdom helps you make prudent choices
Prudence is having an ability to judge people and situations properly so you can make the best choices for your life. Wisdom comes into play when your choice intersects with a critical life situation.
Let’s say a few friends ask you over to study for a major Biology test, but when you arrive they have other plans. Their plans don’t fit your agenda because you need to pass this class. You can choose to go with the crowd and suffer the consequences the next day or study alone at home. However, you care too much about your grades. You have to make a choice, what do you do?
Did I have prior knowledge that large study groups usually don’t work out?
Now, when you arrive and the agenda changes in another direction, like calling boys on the phone, getting on Facebook, etc. Do you have the guts to bring it back to its original intent or do you have the courage to leave the group and study on your own at home?
What would you do in this situation?
If you leave the study group do your fear what will your friends say about you?
Is their opinion for the moment greater than your future?
C. Wisdom – Don’t leave home without it!
Wisdom is crucial in life. Without wisdom we tend to make mistakes, which otherwise could have been avoided. Wisdom’s task is to help you make the best decisions for your life, which place you in an advantageous position (A step ahead of everyone else). Solomon, the wisest man in history stated, “Wisdom is the principal thing.” By this he meant that wisdom should be a cornerstone priority in your life. Embracing wisdom early in life will cost you less headaches in the future. If you avoid wisdom at a young age you will pay a big price, perhaps a price tag too costly for you.
Have you ever heard someone say, “If I had to do it all over again, I would have done it differently”? In your opinion, what do you think they’re saying?
Ten tips to cultivate wisdom at a young age:
1. First, ask adults you trust for advice.
2. Don’t make major decisions alone, run you ideas and plans by your parents, mentors and teachers; at least three people. I call it the “Wisdom Triangle.”
3. Don’t keep secrets or hide things from your parents.
4. Judge social situations carefully before fully engaging in them.
5. Learn from other people’s mistakes so you don’t repeat them.
6. Learn to think critically (Introspective & Foresight). Ask: If I did this… what would happen?
7. Make friends with others who hold high standards about life and virtue.
8. Make friends with those who have a vision for their life; someone’s who is going somewhere, like college, getting good grades, etc.
9. Watch programs on television, YouTube, etc. where you learn something, challenge your thinking and build virtue.
10. Make gaining wisdom the principal thing in your life.
Life Coaching with Teens: http://www.latinotownhall.com/
by Joel Garcia