Social Question

fremen_warrior's avatar

Wisdom, fool! Do you have it?

Asked by fremen_warrior (5487points) September 23rd, 2012

I am curious how many Gandalfs we have here. Do you consider yourself wise? What is wisdom? Is ignorance really bliss? etc.

I will not judge you, so feel free to be as uninhibited about your sincirety (some would say vanity, but who cares) as you want. Tell me, are you wise, accordig to your standards? And if so, who was/is your role-model (for lack of a better term) wisdom-wise (pun… neither clever nor intended).

Putting this in social, still I’d appreciate a more or less on-topic discussion. Cheers!

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30 Answers

Bellatrix's avatar

I remember reading a saying that went something like “a wise man is someone who believes the same thing you do”. That has truth for me. We don’t tend to say those who vehemently disgree with us, regardless of how well they argue their point, are ‘wise’.

Am I wise? It depends on the topic/situation. I have lived for a while and experienced a lot. I have made many mistakes and got some things right and I have observed a lot of life. So, I think my life experience gives me a degree of wisdom. I have also learned, as modelled by a man I considered to be very wise, my father, that a wise person provides information or advice (when asked) and lets the receiver decide whether they will accept and use that advice/information or discard it. Another belief that I think makes me wiseish, is the clear knowledge that I don’t know everything or even most of everything about anything and I can always learn from other people.

graynett's avatar

A “wise” man can learn from a fool a fool can’t learn from a wise man or a fool
{Aside} I am a knowledgeable person who without any wisdom can do very little. (also known as a fool!)

ragingloli's avatar

Oh totally.

tups's avatar

Depends. Can you be wise and still doubt so much?

hearkat's avatar

I don’t know that I consider myself ‘wise’, but I do feel that I’ve gained some wisdom through life experiences. I feel qualified to say this, because I get a lot of positive feedback when I offer advice or perspectives on life.

Because I want to understand myself and relate to others, I’ve (over)analyzed so many people and situations and even cultural factors that influence behavior. Now that I’ve broken through my own defense-mechanisms and head games, I am better able to see through those in others.

@tups: I think that having a questioning mind is actually beneficial to gaining wisdom, because I know that I’ve learned to look at each situation from as many angles as I can imagine because of my desire to understand things and to relate with others. I feel that a person who tends to have doubts is that way because their mind is more open to numerous perspectives and possibilities.

ShanEnri's avatar

I’ll be wise (I hope) when I’m 100! Until then I just consider myself pretty smart with a side of common sense!

Fyrius's avatar

Side track / raised question: in order to be a true Gandalf, does it take one or two Peregrin Tooks to emphasise by contrast how wise you are?
Insofar as I know the saga (cough Ionlysawthemovies cough), Gandalf’s judgement seemed reliably good, but I wouldn’t be all that impressed by his wisdom compared to that of, say, Aragorn, or Legolas, or any other of the just decently sensible people.
If I’d place myself on that scale somewhere, I’d be Gandalf’s Apprentice who isn’t sure if in being so, he can surpass the common-sense Aragorns of the world who don’t actively try to learn Wisdomology.

Okay, stretchy analogy aside: I believe I’ve been lucky enough to stumble upon certain manuals of particularly sensible ways of thinking that I have thenceforth learned and adopted – my Gandalfs are the rationalists. They may not be ‘wise’ in the sense that Gandalf is, and tend to instead deconstruct exactly that sort of thing, but I do think that if wisdom legitimately exists at all, this is what it’s like.
And yet I don’t think I’m much wiser than average.

Actually, um. Maybe wisdom is more complicated than a point on a scale.
I know I’m a fool in many ways, and hopefully, wise in others. I’m whimsical, I still procrastinate often, I ramble a lot, I often don’t know yet where I’m going when I start talking, and I’m naive on a lot of subjects that matter. But I think I understand people and the world fairly well, I’ve acquired certain useful thinking habits and ideas, and friends come to me for advice sometimes.
Does that answer the question a bit?

janbb's avatar

@Fyrius I read that as “Penguin Tooks” and was going to nominate myself for the position!

thorninmud's avatar

If I had to define it, I’d say that wisdom is being in harmony with the way things are. I find that the more I’m in harmony with things, the less “me” there is in the picture; “I” just absorb into the current of being, so who is there to be wise? Wisdom is community property.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Wisdom, to me, is the ability to grasp the essence of an idea. Knowledge doesn’t help a whole lot when it comes to wisdom, although it is invaluable when it comes to deciding how to act in response to an idea.

I once thought I was wise. Now, a few years later, I realise that I was hopelessly naive and ignorant. Wisdom is a quality attained with time and experience, and since I am still young, there is plenty of further development for me to acquire.

One figure I regard as having been incredibly wise is Marcus Aurelius. His writings have had a huge impact on me. Another person I regard as having been wise is Aristotle. I struggle to think of anyone throughout history that had the insight he had.

kess's avatar

All men are Wise, the indefinite differences appears because of the the varying purposes to which they apply that wisdom.
And through this, all can be classified as into two absolute categories.
Only to realise that there is only two kinds of men.
Which some classify as “the wise” and “the foolish”...

but not really because…...
...... all are Wise but the purpose to which that wisdom is applied make it appears as if there are indefinite differences

DWW25921's avatar

The older I get the more I realize I have less knowledge than I thought. I wish I was a teenager again so I’d go back to knowing everything! There’s nothing like unfounded confidence.

Coloma's avatar

Pretty damn wise these days, one doesn’t get to 50 something without some serious enlightenment unless they are completely deaf, dumb and blind. I only need one brick to hit me in the head these days, not a dump truck full. lol

Sunny2's avatar

I’m wise enough to know that I’m not as wise as I think I am. The memory of my father, who had to be right about everything, keeps me humble.

tups's avatar

@Sunny2 I think that’s a great opinion. I know those people who has to be right about everything, it is very annoying and not very wise at all.

ucme's avatar

Sounds like a harsh dentist.

Pazza's avatar

I fail to see how someone can be wise and dumb at the same time…....
I try to learn from my mistakes.
I mostly fail.
I love my kids my family and my wife.
I try to forgive, and do my best to turn the other cheek when I feel that is the best option.
Maybe that makes me wise, maybe it makes me a fool.
I’ll find out my score when I’m dead…...
Or I’ll cease to exist.

deni's avatar

Uh, yeah! I just had a wisdom tooth start coming in 2 days ago!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ask me anything!!!

Linda_Owl's avatar

I have wisdom (in limited amounts) & I am always seeking after more wisdom. I am, I think, reasonably intelligent. I do not know all of the answers to the big questions, but I do recognize the need for answers for the big questions. Basically, I do the best that I can & try to help other people understand the need for answers to the big questions.

Bill1939's avatar

One can be wise is some areas and naive in others. Wisdom is born of experience and nurtured by understanding. To be wise requires a perspective with a wide breadth that perceives how something has come to be and what it likely will become.

Ignorance is bliss, but it opens one up to a lot of blind-sides.

majorrich's avatar

I am pretty sure my bottom (arse) is wise. It’s been called wise many times.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t think you can know if you are wise. Only other people can tell you if they find something you said to be wise.

starsofeight's avatar

Kind of like asking are you red. Without a well defined consensus, orange promotes its nominal redness, and yellow thinks being nearly orange is enough. Green and blue, both shades of the ‘open mind’ position, say, sure: I’m red—until until I’m caught being me.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I think I do have some. I think I can use some more.

Trillian's avatar

Upon receiving instruction, a wise man says “thank you”, a fool says “you have offended me”.
(Proverb I read somewhere, paraphrased.)

janbb's avatar

“Who you callin’ “Kimosabe”, White Boy?”

linguaphile's avatar

I have wisdom about some situations but can be a total ditz in other situations.

‘Tis wisdom to know the difference.

janbb's avatar

(OMG – My answer was an answer to the last line of a joke thread! Guess I don’t have much wisdom!

augustlan's avatar

@janbb Haha, I was wondering!

A little, perhaps. Hard won through some pretty crappy experiences in my life. Always looking for more, and learning from those wiser than I.

Shippy's avatar

I was incredibly stupid my whole life, which in return paid me back with wisdom. It is kind of the natural scale of things.

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