Long before I knew what I was doing, I was pursuing the attainment of wisdom.
Like The Holy Grail, a legendary thing that had obvious, if cryptic value.
After a lifetime (so far) of questing after this elusive thing, I have come to have a considerable amount of it.
And with it comes a whole new question: what to do with it?
For almost exactly the same amount of time I was on this quest, I suffered (seriously suffered) from the world's worst stutter. And then one day it was completely gone. And with that came the whole new question: what to do with it.
I started hanging out on stuttering forums, trying to share my new success, and knowledge of how to attain it, with (fellow) stutterers. With shocking results...
Very soon I was the target of incredible abuse, and gratuitous attacks. I suffered this for altogether too long a time, before accepting that nobody wanted to hear that their pet disability was curable. And that to offer such assistance was to become no more than a sitting duck, unable to escape the pot-shots taken at it.
What I realized about all of this was that people were not seeing what I was offering for what it was. They seemed to always turn it into what it was not, instead, before even considering what was on offer.
I was there to boast about my success, they said.
To 'look-good' to others.
Motivated by ego, the need to impress, to tell blatant lies, etc.
Outside of speech-forums, in the real world, another problem manifested itself to the newly-fluent me:
I discovered, to my anguish, that although I had always assumed people were generally mean to me, because I stuttered (and sometimes they were), that they were, more often than not, extraordinarily patient while I subjected them to my three-words-per-minute freak-show act.
And now that I could speak, as well, or better than them, they made no bones about not being remotely interested in whatever I had to say.
Well. Get used to it. That is probably the norm for most people, that is so normal, they don't even recognize it. Nobody is really interested in what you have to say, anyway, because they are too busy composing what they are going to say, just as soon as they can cut you off.
And, you know, the exact same thing occurs, among 'intelligent' people, when wisdom is offered.
Wisdom is not something the young know about. It's the one really big lack a young person has, while having a surfeit of other things that their elders no longer have, or only have in limited quantities.
Not that age is any guarantee of wisdom. All too often it is not.
Yet there can be no wisdom without age and experience.
Lots and lots of experience.
And what to do with it?
Well, obviously, it changes one's own life, immeasurably, and by osmosis, everything in the vicinity benefits, whether it, or they, know it, or not.
But something the aged do, as the certainty of extinction looms, ever closer, is to try to pass along what they have learned, discovered, attained or realized. It is as natural as the sun rising in the east.
It seems a colossal waste, to take with one, to one's grave, all that one has learned, through a lifetime of trial and error, bliss and pain. So it must, somehow, be shared...
But the young, again...
Not knowing what wisdom is, cannot recognize it, and so ridicule it, instead.
Imagining that if they do not know something, already, themselves, then it must be horseshit.
And being horseshit, then the sharer of it must be insulted, undermined, abused and driven off.
There was once this guy called Jesus, see...
The young do not know that every great name didn't start out that way.
For every great name, an ordinary person preceded it.
Plato, Socrates, Nietzsche...
All nobodies, until they became somebodies (in the eyes of later generations).
And all their views, without ever having read anything by any of them, I have been able to come to, myself, without help, and without guidance, just as they, themselves did. Or so I hear, from those who have read these people.
Do you see what I am talking about, here?
The wise have about as much use for 'looking-good' as a pancake does for oil-based paint.
The wise know themselves.
The wise are repositories of things the unwise have no concept of.
Perspectives unimaginable to the unwise.
And so the moronic attacks of lesser beings have no effect upon them, especially when they originate from internet morons who know absolutely nothing about those they attack, and who inevitably end up projecting their own worst faults upon their target-of-the-moment.
Such people - concerned so much with appearances - have no faint idea how incredibly puerile they appear when they behave as they do, or how egotistical their own imagined superiority renders them.
So what is wisdom, anyway?
The ability to know by not-knowing. To go beyond childish things, such as context-less intelligence, and to make use of any and all experiences that come along.
I stopped stuttering when I realized I had absolutely nothing in common with those horrid assholes who stuttered, while turning their disabilities into an all-consuming superiority-complex.
I was nothing like them! But without exposure to them, I might never have known that.
I stopped being unwise when I realized I was nothing like unwise people, and that they had nothing in common with me. That there was absolutely no advantage in trying to be like them, or to impress them, or have them like me. But without exposure to the worst in these people, I might never have known that.
So every shitty thing has its value, along with all those things that are in no way shitty.
It is only a matter of where you stand, in relation to what.
And what you are able to realize that those around you are unable to.
The best way, there is, to look really, really stupid, is to try to look intelligent, when you are not.
Especially when you try to do it at somebody else's expense.
So, where do you stand, concerning the unexpected appearance of what could be wisdom?
Are you open to consider something you maybe don't yet know?
Or compelled to ridicule it, out of hand?