Image from here
I sat on the floor at a friends place the other day catching pieces of avocado sushi that my son was lovingly stabbing with his soy fishy. My friend had delivered two beautiful babies in the last 18 months. She looked busy and content.
We swayed into the safe territory of books and blogs and thoughts. We’ve never been good at talking about stuff and that’s why I love her. We talked about the big debate on why Mamamia doesnt pay and on why people choose to voice their opinions even when they are sometimes not asked.
I was driving away from her and listening to the radio. I heard someone talk about their local street party and how to invitation of the elders of the street gave an added layer of wisdom. There wasn’t much clarification from the person sharing this, about what wisdom meant it, it was merely a reference to old = wise = benefit for community.
We used to live next door to a very old lady growing up. She was cranky and snarky and used her powers for evil instead of good. She was old and knew things but I wouldn’t call her wise. I don’t remember any old people growing up who I looked to for life lessons. My Facebook friends tell me that wisdom is based on experience not age. That you dont have to have walked the earth for multiple decades to know a thing or two. I think that, each time I look at my kids when they point out what Im doing wrong.
When I was in the States a few years back the woman I had travelled to see had imparted her wisdom upon me for five days straight but the last comment she made to me was what stuck with me. I was gathering up all of my scribbled notes and folders and trying to work out what time I should get to the airport while juggling texts from my ex-husband. She said to me that when I re-partnered (I liked the way she said when not if) that I needed to find someone who could look after themselves. That re-partnering after divorce was about not finding someone I could look after but someone who looked after themselves.
I dont always remember the things we talked about in her office but I remember the last drive. She was life wise. She also knew when to share.
Wisdom is knowing when to talk up and when to sit back. When to voice your thoughts, paid or unpaid, requested or not and when to package them up and shut them away. We all travel different journeys being wise isn’t to do with age its about knowing when the world might benefit from what you have to say.
What happens for you when you sway into unchartered conversation territory – do you share your wisdom or keep it quiet?