Are you wise, or simply being smart?
It’s easy to tell how smart a person is. There’re IQ tests and a whole host of cognitive exercises to help you measure. As to whether a person is wise, it’s not so easy to tell.
Many people associate the wise with the old.
It’s an impression that we’ve been given since young. In the bedtime stories, the wise is depicted as an elderly looking owl with reading glasses and mortar board. The thought is ingrained.
This’s, however, a stereotype. The fact is you don’t have to be old to be wise. For the same token, you can’t simply be wise by getting old.
Remember that story about a professor and the little girl?
On the blackboard the professor draws a circle and asks the class, “What’s this?”
The students, who’re among the brightest in the school, ponder deep. Upon deliberation, one of them says that it’s an atomic bomb. Anther says that it’s a circle not perfectly drawn so it ends up to be an oval. Not everyone agrees, and so goes the a round of hot debate.
There is a young little girl who accompanies her father to the class. She can’t understand why these older people are so silly and finally loses her patience and yells, “It’s an egg!”
The class is stunned and turns silent. The professor beams and nods, “Yes, what this little girl gives is the perfect answer.”
As a matter of fact, not only do you not have to be old to be wise, sometimes for you to be truly wise, you’d have to bring back the child-like innocence.
Everybody can be wise, regardless of his age. It doesn’t require you to have high education or IQ.
Wisdom is a gift bestowed to you if you’re ready to unlock it. One of the ways to unlock it, ironically, is not trying to be smart.
Being wise requires you to call a spade a spade, and smartness, knowledge, desires and prejudice are obstacles for you to tell the truth — especially when it’s simpler than you think.
Lao Tzu describes any view that is stiffened to be ‘old’ and it’s heading for demise. So when you can’t stay away from the ingrained thoughts to bring back the inquisitiveness, you can be unwise even when you’re old.
“Can you interact with the universal, by staying soft and tranquil? Can you pursue the wisdom of Tao, by discarding what you think you know?” Asks Lao Tzu