Dear Partners in Green,
Lately, optimism appears to be in short supply. News is disheartening. It seems we are a flawed species, easily led. We quickly look for scapegoats on whom to cast blame for all of our problems. Racism is on the rise; violence is epidemic. We are a violent species as is evident in most respected history texts.
What is lacking is wisdom. We have more knowledge than we know what to do with, but it appears that the more knowledge we have, the less wisdom we have.
We tend to equate knowledge and wisdom, but they are two different animals. Knowledge is a tool, wisdom is the craft in which the tool is used.
Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. A quote above my old “grammar” school door read: “Knowledge is proud that it knows so much; wisdom is humble that it knows no more.”
And there is Winnie the Pooh: “A clever mind is not a heart, knowledge doesn’t really care – wisdom does.”
Our Native American brothers and sisters were wise when they looked ahead five generations to determine right action. Today, however, many of us simply look to our 401K statement.
How did we become so short-sighted or distracted? Perhaps it is by design. Next time you’re catching up on the news online, notice all the frivolous ads and celebrity updates sandwiched between significant reports such as school shootings, or climate change weather events.
We must become savvy consumers of the media, and thoughtful and wise guardians of our time and of our minds. There is so much distracting us, it is easy to forget our responsibility to the ecology of our world and to future generations.
We can say no to the empty promises of easy fixes, and yes to “here I am.” We can live simply and intentionally. We can speak thoughtfully and truthfully.
We can be the change. Or at least we can in good conscience leave a letter to our grandchildren and great-grandchildren saying we tried.
We can work to gain Wisdom:
- Think before you speak.
- Put collective good over self-interest.
- Don’t jump to conclusions.
- Try new things and give yourself the opportunity to learn, to make mistakes, and then reflect upon the process.
- Talk to people from different backgrounds, with different perspectives. Listen.
- Embrace uncertainty and doubt. (We tend to crave clarity.)
- Put future well-being over short-term gain.
So in this month of July, attempt to live mindfully. Walk slowly, talk slowly. Pay attention to Nature, that world outside your door. Marvel at the skill of the chipmunk to tightrope walk a fence, be enthralled by a song sung by a family of cardinals, perhaps allow yourself to mourn the death of a sparrow.
- See how many days can go by without needing to buy gas.
- Shop your own closet.
- Each day, spend at least an hour outdoors.
- Monitor your time online.
- Enjoy a stay-cation.
- Write a poem about Nature, an Ode, or a Lament.
- Share it.
I leave you with a quote from Rumi:
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.
Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
Wishing peace and health to you and your loved ones.
Thank you for being on this journey.
Till next time,