Webster defines it as – knowledge, insight
a. accumulated philosophic or scientific learning : knowledge
b. ability to discern inner qualities and relationships : insight
Free on-line dictionary defines it as – the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; insight.
There’s a wealth of wisdom accumulated over the years; some captured in books, some passed on from generation to generation. At times we find certain wisdom makes sense only in books and that presumption makes it hard for us to carry it out in life. E.g. we all know that nothing is perfect in this world (except your wife, exceptions are always there). In spite of this fact how many of us actually look at our glass half full? We more often tend to look it as half empty and put ourselves in a chase after futile things. However there are few people who live a life which is wisdom in itself. A life we all would like to live, something not so hard to follow and still we make it a challenge. Here’s a story of a common man and a simple concept that’s quite inspiring!
After graduating from high school & before commencing the college, I had some elaborate plans to spend my well-earned vacation. Whenever I have been over-joyed about my immediate future, Mr. Murphy have hijacked the script & modified it with his very own popular version. In this case it was my father who made plans to better use my vacation. He accounted for almost everything in that plan except my willingness. We (kids in sub-continent) are raised to agree on everything elderly family members have to say. Anyone five years & more than your age is your elder. Not sure where that limit five came from, but I know that my sister five years younger to me had severe challenges agreeing to my talks. So I guess over five is the accepted norm to be privileged as an elder. I am sure my father presumed that he can grandfather my will under that ancient tradition.
We were living in a mid-sized city in western India & he bought a property in the suburb of the city. He realized that serenity of suburbs precedes the comforts of city. I was not in disagreement with that. In fact I had a vested interest in moving to the suburb. The vested interest wasn’t anything great looking back at it now; it was merely driven by teen hormones and not neurons. The house needed some fixing before we can call it our new home. It was about a four years old house but no-one had lived there permanently, the first owner had used it as a vacation home. It needed some basic elements for permanent dwelling. Instead of contracting it out he decided to give a face-lift using day laborers & hourly skilled workers; and of course putting me in-charge to oversee that all. This was his audacious plan to better use my vacation. He assumed that this new challenge filled responsibility would make a good graduation gift! Anyone can tell that this was nothing more than an unpaid internship. He justified his plan by saying that this would be a great hands-on learning opportunity for me to gain some management skills. I had a long list of things to do during the vacation & learning was not on that list. How much can you eat between two heavy meals? My exact point, how much can you learn between two major learning experiences – High-school & College? My father lacked that critical analytical skills to comprehend my simple logic and somehow I was assigned a learning assignment! I am a kid from sub-continent born in last century who generally lacked persistent disobedience at home. Not claiming I was the best kid who deserved a gold star on compliance but I picked my battle of resistance.
My grandfather was a great visionary; he foresaw my fray with Mr. Murphy & advised me at the age of five that, “if you can’t avoid it enjoy it”. He motivated me to drink that third force feeding of daily milk dose by saying, “pretend its molten ice-cream”. A positive attitude helps you come out of the stickiest situation and may even help enjoy going through one. It’s all about attitude, and I was banking on that single ray of hope to brighten so far gloomy looking vacation. I motivated my mind to yield something positive out of this experience and didn’t took me long to find my molten ice-cream in restoration project; access to the restoration budget & opportunity to customize house as per my needs.
……… to be continued.